SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

1 of June Scalabrini Day celebration

1 of June marks the memory of Bishop Scalabrini, founder of the Congregation of the Scalabrini Fathers and promoter of the pastoral care of migrants, refugees and people on the move around the world.

SIHMA, together with the sister organisations Scalabrini Centre and Lawrence House, will have a moment of reflection and training with its staff on this day.

Together we want to focus our attention on the four verbs, suggested by Pope Francis as the pillars of working with migrants (welcome, protect, promote, integrate) to understand how these inform our work of study, advocacy, support and empowerment for the vulnerable brothers and sisters we serve.

All the various programmes and projects that make up our network will have the opportunity to exchange and interact on how we carry out our ministry and service with people on the move.

This reflection will be broadened and will also include the knowledge of other experiences and initiatives related to our global partners (SIMN, Scalabrini International Migration Network), such as Stella Maris, which deals with sea and port workers, ASCS (Scalabrini Agency for Development and Cooperation) which is involved in fundraising for social initiatives and the other study centres of the Scalabrini Network.

The programme takes place in the Hall of the Scalabrini Centre from 9:30am to 1:30pm and will feature streaming from our staff members working in our projects in Johannesburg, at the St. Patrick Centre in La Rochelle.

This year our celebration is particularly heartfelt as we have been joined by the news of Scalabrini's forthcoming canonisation, an acknowledgement of the importance of this man's thought and action for entire generations of migrants, which still enlightens and sustains the humanitarian and pastoral action of many organisations like ours.

Message from the Superior General of the Scalabrinian Fathers

This year we approach the 1st of June, annual feast of our Blessed Funder, with great joy since the Holy Father, accepting the opinion of the cardinals gathered in assembly on May, has decreed that Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini will be venerated as a saint in the Church. The canonization ceremony will take place on a date to be established by the consistory to be convened by Pope Francis. We know how much migrants, refugees, seafarers and all people involved in human mobility are dear to the Holy Father's heart. Many times he has pointed out to the Church and society the duty to welcome them, protect them, promote their living conditions and value their contribution to common coexistence. In proclaiming John Baptist Scalabrini a saint, Pope Francis wants to indicate to the Church the model of a bishop who not only gave himself completely to the good of his people, but also extended his heart to the sisters and brothers whom life had taken far from home.

As we thank the Holy Father for this gift and rejoice that our Founder is recognized as a model to be imitated, we feel even more empowered to keep alive the charism he passed on to us and to dedicate ourselves to the service of fraternity, where people are not driven out of their country by violence and war, are not discarded because they are redundant to the system, but are appreciated and valued in their uniqueness and diversity.

Each community is invited to communicate to migrants that in Scalabrini they have a father and a patron to whom they can turn in difficulties so that he may plead the protection of God who turns his gaze of predilection on the little ones and the marginalized.

Fr Leonir Chiarello, General Superior of the Missionaries of St. Charles Scalabrini Fathers



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