The Scalabrinian Pastoral Work for People on the Move
The Missionaries of Saint Charles “Scalabrinians” are a Catholic Religious Congregation of Priests and Brothers. Our charisma is the “Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Seafarers.” In the migration process we Scalabrinians remain particularly sensitive to the protection of the human dignity of our brothers and sisters migrants.
Since the beginning, our founder, Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini emphasized the need to provide migrants with the instruments for preserving their identity and communicating with society. In a world of wireless communication, free trade market and globalization, the issue of human mobility is perceived as “a product of exchange.” Contrary to this, we Scalabrinians promote dialogue among differences. We believe that dialogue between migrants and receiving societies can provide opportunities for mutual growth. We think that beyond diversities, common elements unite all and the universal dimension of the human family should help overcome myopic nationalisms and artificial limits.
Migrants are not juts poor workers or exploited persons. They have something to contribute, therefore, from the universal point of view, nobody is a foreigner and nobody should be excluded of development.
Scalabrinians in Australia and Asia
The Scalabrinian charisma in the province of Australia and Asia (SFXC) has been characterized from the very beginning by a holistic approach. In addition to specific pastoral care, attention was given to social concerns, helping migrants settle down and providing them with the necessary environment to survive in the new land. The Scalabrinian Missionaries are present to welcome the newcomers, to give support to their values and to facilitate their dialogue with the local society and Church. This approach requires flexibility in the apostolic methods and structures, and the humility to recognize that only little could be done, like a song for others to follow.
In Short, we Scalabrinians are:
- A Catholic religious congregation of brothers and priests
- We are from different nationalities
- We are present in 31 countries in five continents
- We envision a world in which cultural differences are an opportunity to enrich each other
- We address the needs of migrants, seafarers and displaced people in different areas of apostolate.
Center of Studies
To study and examine in-depth the phenomenon of migration and other related problems, the Congregation has set up Centers of Studies for Migration. In these Centers, the Scalabrinians research and analyze the sociological aspect of the migration phenomenon. In the Philippines, the Scalabrinians have the largest Center of Studies for Migration in Asia called “The Scalabrini Migration Center.”
Centers of Hospitality
Our center of hospitality offer temporary shelter, preventive education, legal aid and human rights advocacy to migrants. In Asia, we have the SCPM in Manila, Philippines, The Stella Maris Center in Manila City, and the International Stella Maris Service in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
The Scalabrinians give a hand to the local churches of receiving countries in the pastoral care of migrants, ministering at parishes where locals and migrants attend, or ministering to a specific ethnic and linguistic group. The parishes, we attend provide an example for the local Church that different cultures can get together in faith and with concern for those needing special help in different spiritual areas.