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Migrant Workers and Families’ Outreach Program

The Migrant Workers and Families’ Outreach Program of St. Mary’s Parish is a welcoming, safe and compassionate church community based on respect, trust and confidentiality, that bears witness to God’s love under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and protection of the Holy Family. It is facilitated by a group of volunteers committed to actively reach out to migrant individuals and families who need support from a faith-based community. The mission is carried out through Word and Worship (teachings, prayer groups, bible study, retreats), Work (Moral Values Re-orientation Program, Family

Enrichment Programs, Social Awareness programs and referrals to agencies in the community) and Wellbeing (counseling referrals and fellowship).

 

What is Migrant Ministry?Migrant-Ministry-icon-image-1a

Migrant Ministry is supported by various parishes within the Archdiocese of Vancouver. This initiative began within the Office of Service and Justice and continues to expand as this ministry consists of the Hispanic Community and the Temporary Foreign Workers.

As Christians, we are called to reach out to and pray for all migrants to emphasize the unity of the human family and the values of acceptance, hospitality, and love of neighbour.

A leadership team was formed to support this ministry, shepherded by out Hispanic Coordinator Father Richard Zanotti, CS.

 

 

 

Who We Are

The ministry is run by a Core Group initially composed of 8 volunteers, 5 of whom left in 2012.  New members came in and now the group has 17 members, 13 of whom were caregivers or are still in the Live-in Caregiver Program. Lenn Castro coordinates the Migrant Ministry.

 

Inspired by Matthew 25:35-36: “For I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me”, the group’s mission is to respond to caregivers’ immediate needs, such as immigration documents, labour standards issues, workplace safety, family issues, etc. To carry out its mission, the group also tries to build a friendly relationship and a welcoming community not only for caregivers but for everyone who needs its services.

 

What We Do  

The ministry meets and organizes workshops in collaboration with ISSofBC on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, 1:00 -3:00PM in the school seminar room. On average, there are about 14 workshops held every year.  For 2017, there have already been 10 workshops conducted with 313 participants. There are 3 more scheduled till the end of the year. Some of those conducted this year were: Changes and Issues on the Live-in Caregiver Program, Family Sponsorship, Taxation System in Canada, Church Annulment, Co-op Housing, Understanding Depression and Career Paths.

                

After each workshop, the group holds a fellowship among the participants where sharing is encouraged in a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Others who need help with their individual cases consult with Chit Arma, the Settlement Worker from ISSofBC doing outreach at St. Mary’s, for assistance.     

 

Every year, the ministry also holds a “Migrant Workers’ Way of the Cross”, a unique activity where the sacrifices, resiliency and courage of caregivers are likened to the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  

 

Every year, the ministry also holds a “Migrant Workers’ Way of the Cross”, a unique activity where the sacrifices, resiliency and courage of caregivers are likened to the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

How Parishioners can Help Parishioners can: – refer caregivers and their families, migrant workers, newcomers, or others in need of help to the ministry; – encourage caregivers and their families, newcomers and other parishioners to attend workshops

 

How to Reach us: Through email : stmarysmigrant@gmail.com or resochita.arma@issbc.org  Through phone: 604-684-7498 ext. 1666