Caring for Migrants Book

Over the years, the Catholic Church has been in the forefront in providing practical assistance and guiding principles in ministering to people on the move. The motivation for this direct and positive involvement stems from the words of Jesus, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). This is particularly true of the Catholic Church in our country, Australia. The Catholic community has been closely and constantly guided to walk with and provide whatever help might be necessary to ensure that people who seek to make Australia their home could make a peaceful and fruitful transition.

This book has two sections: The first section, dedicated to the Universal Magisterium, introduces a selection of documents, which have been instrumental in shaping the pastoral care of migrants of the Catholic Church. Many of the pastoral programs implemented worldwide derive inspiration from these documents. The selected documents were authored by popes (from Pius XII to Benedict XVI), the Second Vatican Council, Vatican Congregations, Pontifical Councils and Commissions. They range from apostolic constitutions to messages and they carry varying degrees of authority, from canonical rules to pastoral exhortations, but each one of them contributed to the development of the migrant ministry.

The second section, on the Local Magisterium, includes pastoral letters and official statements dealing directly with migration-related matter. These documents express the local ordinary Magisterium, which contextualizes the indications provided at the universal level. They are authored by Bishops’ Conferences and Episcopal Commissions in United States, Australia and Asia. The geographical coverage of the selection was determined by the cooperation of the above-mentioned institutions in realizing this project.

There are four parts in this second section: the first part is dedicated to the Universal Magisterium, the second to the Magisterium in the United States, the third to the Magisterium in Australia and the fourth to the Magisterium in Asia. Each part is introduced by a commentary authored by selected scholars. An index of subjects is added at the end to facilitate the consultation of the documents. This collection is a useful reference to those in the migrant ministry and to all Catholics who are called to care for migrants.

Copies of this publication are available for purchase from the ACMRO.