EPISCOPAL COMMISSION FOR PASTORAL CARE FOR MIGRANT AND ITENERANT PEOPLE
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Antique Held 1st Diocesan Assembly for Migrants

Last July 15, 2005, the Diocese of Antique conducted its first diocesan assembly for migrants, which brought in 71 individual participants. It was held at the Tuburan Sang Kinabuhi Diocesan Center at San Jose, Antique.

The assembly was a huge success. No less than the bishop of Antique, Bishop Romulo de la Cruz, D.D. graced the affair and gave his fraternal blessings. The activity was participated by migrants, priests, nuns, lay leaders and representatives from various schools and parishes of the diocese. In his closing message, aside from thanking the participants, the good bishop encouraged the various Parish Pastoral Councils within his diocese to support the programs for migrants.

In the assembly proper, topics on the overseas migration situation, social impact of overseas migration and the church’s basis for migrant apostolate were presented and thoroughly discussed by ECMI coordinators who served as the assembly’s resource persons. In a workshop that ensued, participants were made to identify the pressing problems and issues affecting migrants and their families today. Identified as urgent are the consumerist mentality of migrants and their family, the mismanagement of the OFW’s income, the overdependence of families on the remittances from abroad and the prevalent problem of sexual infidelity and breaking-up of families. The participants thereafter formulated some plan of action to hopefully address and ease out the problematic issues and concerns.

As an initial sustaining structure to make a difference, the assembly moved to organize the First Diocesan Commission Board. Elected to compose the board were Fr. Fernando Milani as Diocesan Coordinator, Fr. Ireneo Abong as Assistant Diocesan Coordinator, Ms. Patria Galido, Mr. Alberto Martinez, Mrs. Luz Patricio and Mrs. Teresita Magos as North District, Central District, San Jose District and South District coordinators respectively. Mrs. Elsie Rubite was also elected as the board’s coordinator for the schools.

With this first diocesan assembly in Antique, ECMI has formally established a new Diocesan MigrationDesk (DMD) in the Visayas. Antique is the 12th DMD established out of the 18 dioceses in Region VI, VII and VIII. Earlier, ECMI has set-up the migration desks in arch/dioceses of Cebu, Capiz, Jaro, and Tagbilaran. Coordinating desks are present as well as at the Arc/dioceses of Dumaguete, Kabankalan, Maasin, San Carlos, and Talibon.

Migration desks are established by ECMI in the various arch/dioceses in the country. This is to pursue the mandate of ECMI in reaching out, provide and coordinate the various pastoral and social services for the migrants and their families.

 

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