2022 Assembly


The Religious & Migration in the 21st Century: Extra Documents


Further to the post on the website about the Conference: The Religious and Migration in the 21st Century, the organisers have kindly shared with us the formal documents associated with the Conference. Comprising both Word documents and Powerpoint presentations, there is a wealth of information and inspiration to be found in them.
Read and enjoy!
Rome Eng Overview PP Mon, Feb 22 – 24 Roma_EN
Rome Eng PP Migrants&Media in Italy
Rome Eng Summary feedback THE RELIGIOUS AND MIGRATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY Summary and reflection
Rome French Summary Feedback Religieux et migration au 21ème siècle, French
Rome Italian Migrants and Media in Italy Immigrati reali e mediali
Rome Italian Rapporteur Mon, Feb 22 – 24 Roma rapporteur
Rome Italian Summary feedback I religiosi e la migrazione nel XXI secolo, Italian
Rome PP Eng The Advocacy Strategy Mon, Feb 22 – 24 Roma_EN
Rome UN English statement post 2015 development agenda
Rome UN French statement post 2015 development agenda
Rome Welcome Address – Religious & Migrants Conference (Feb 2016)
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

International Women’s Day Marked by the Committee on Women’s Rights & …


International Women’s Day marked by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) of the European Parliament
The EU Parliament in Brussels heard of the added traumas suffered by women refugees in recent months, in particular the practice of ‘survival sex’, where women are forced to have sex with the smugglers and mafia members transporting them to Europe from Turkey and Syria.
Women's Day 2016
Survival sex among women and children is well-known, according to UN Women Regional Director for Turkey, Ingibjorg Gisladottir, but the incidence is hard to quantify as women rarely wish to record this for fear of recrimination and ‘dishonour’ among their families and communities.
Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002) speaking at the European Parliament in early March has condemned as “unconscionable” and “inhumane” the failure of many EU states to solve the growing refugee crisis and is urging all EU member states to “share the burden” of the hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing into Europe every month.
Mrs. Robinson pointed out that women face far greater risks of “violence, exploitation and trafficking” and are more vulnerable on route to Europe. Please see for full information.
On the 3rd of March last, the Progressio Empower Team in London, held a photographic exhibition and a panel discussion, where they discussed their work in the context of the new Sustainable Development Goal for Gender Equality. They highlighted those who inspire them, their achievements in their fields and the challenges that remain around the implementation of this vital new Goal. Empower volunteers created this short film of the evening, to give us a flavour of the motivational discussion that took place.

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Report from a Conference: The Religious & Migration in the 21st Century


The phenomenon of the 21st Century is the movement of peoples, whether by choice or otherwise. It is an extraordinary humanitarian emergency, where we are confronted with extraordinary challenges in trying to look for an adequate response. If we accept that migration is the ‘new normal’, then as Religious, we must ask ourselves: what is the Spirit asking us to do?
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person attended the Conference entitled The Religious and Migration in the 21st Century: Perspectives, Response and Challenges, held in Casa Generalizia dei Passionisti, Rome from the 22nd – 24th February, 2016 and shares some insights from the Conference.
Report from The Conference_The Religious and Migration in the 21st Century_February 2016
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

COMECE Debate in Brussels: Integration of Migrants, a Catholic Perspective


Report from Sr. Andrea Tillmanns, who attended the COMECE evening debate in Brussels, 1st December, 2015
People migrate for a variety reasons. Today an increasing number of people are driven from their homeland by poverty or by despair concerning the economic or social prospects for themselves or their families. In 2015, welcoming migrants, asylum seekers and refugees became an urgent challenge, especially for Member States with external borders in the EU. The greater challenge however, is the long-term integration of migrants and refugees into their new home societies and respective labour markets.

Speakers at the COMECE Debate in Brussels
Speakers at the COMECE Debate in Brussels

On the 1st of December 2015, in an evening debate, COMECE brought together a variety of people from Catholic communities across Europe with a view to deepening the understanding of the complex challenges involved in integrating migrants into the host societies. The aim was to discuss models of integration, best practices, and the fundamental values that guide integration within the European Union. The participants were Mr. Martin Wilde, Association of Catholic Entrepreneurs (BKU) of Germany, Fr. Arun Alphonse, OFM, St. Anthony´s Parish of Kraainen-Brussels, Mr. Sergio Barciela, Migration and Inclusion Caritas Spain and Fr. Damian Cichy, SVD, Wyszynski-University, Fu Shenfu Migrant Center, Warsaw. The evening was moderated by Fr. Patrick H. Daly, General Secretary, COMECE.
Fr. Patrick H. Daly, General Secretary, COMECE
Fr. Patrick H. Daly, General Secretary, COMECE

Mentoring clusters
Mr. Martin Wilde as the first speaker, presented models of integration in the labour market of Germany. So far this year, Germany has welcomed 1 million people, 70-80 % without formation. The integration process is focusing on the following areas: language, assessing professional competences, pre-qualifying, formal professional competences and cultural-civic education. According to Mr. Wilde, it is crucial that every migrant has somebody to accompany him or her, as mentor and guide (voluntary social mentoring). Examples of such “mentoring clusters” are companies, chambers of commerce, social welfare institutions and educational institutions. To illustrate his idea, he shared his experiences of a local cooperation cluster project in Stuttgart, Germany, between Caritas, pre-qualification centres and companies.
Migration in Poland
Fr. Damian Cichy especially emphasized the pastoral dimension of the integration of migrants. Fr. Cichy stated that although Poland is new to welcoming migrants, he presented his work in the Fu Shenfu Migrant Centre in Warsaw, where he ministers specifically to Chinese and Vietnamese people.
“The other big part of our work is to change the mentality of the Polish people. We must give the message to the people that migrants have more positive than negative effects for the country.”
No ‘we’ and ‘they’
According to Fr. Arun Alphonse, “As Catholics, there is no ’we’ and ’they’. Our Christian identity does not know borders; we are all brothers and sisters. Our mission is kindness, mercy and compassion.” He told us to also be as migrants. “We all are pilgrims and strangers in this world.” For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. (…)” Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25, 35-36; 40)
In the integration process, according to Fr. Alphonse, one of the main problems experienced by migrants is that of identity crisis. We must limit the impacts of the cultural shock; in this context, religion has an important role to play. Only after a cultural stabilization of the migrant in his origin culture, can we take the second step: integration in the new culture of the host country.
Identity crisis
The evening was closed by Mr. Sergio Barciela of Caritas Spain. In his view, the three main working fields in the integration of migrants are: the economic and social aspects (health, housing, work etc.), identity and civil society and finally political questions (human rights, participation in elections etc.). We need activities in all these three fields to realise a real and durable integration.
Mr. Barciela thinks that in Spain, both the migrants and the Spanish people face an identity crisis, especially because of the recent economic crisis which has so badly affected Spain. “Only personal relations protect the people from prejudices. They, migrants and host people, must meet a face.”
At the end, we can already state that close cooperation exists between public authorities at all levels in civil society. Churches and religious communities continue to strengthen responses to the crisis. Additionally, the Christian approach obliges us to see every migrant as a person, “a child of God”, with his or her inviolable human dignity. To welcome them in their need and suffering is a divine commandment.
Written by Sr. Andrea Tillmanns, RGS

Adapted and amended by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Report from RENATE Training in Romania 2nd – 7th November 2014


A week-long training programme on Labour Trafficking & Migration took place in Romania from 2nd to 7th November 2014, funded by the RENATE sponsors.
This was part of RENATE’s ongoing commitment to research, skills and information-sharing throughout the Network, in support of its vision to work to end Human Trafficking and exploitation.
Forty members of RENATE – religious and their co-workers – gathered at the Carmelite Monastery Conference and Retreat Centre, Snagov, near Bucharest to learn about the issue as well as to reflect and strengthen the bonds that support the Network.
Sr. Imelda Poole, President of RENATE presented an image of the Nautilus during her introductory remarks, as a comparable example of how RENATE continues to evolve. Just as the Nautilus continues to grow by means of growing a new shell on the back of previous shells, so too does RENATE develop. Deepening, evolving and building upon the foundations and previous work of others.
A comprehensive programme was prepared, covering the following;

  1. Migration & Forced Labour across Europe.
  2. Labour Exploitation/ Trafficking for Forced labour.
  3. Profile of Victims of Trafficking; E.U. Estimated Figures and Statistics.
  4. Identification of Victims of Trafficking- Formal & Informal; Pro-active Identification.
  5. Trans-national Mechanisms of Identification & Referral; Exchange of Sensitive Information.
  6. Social Inclusion & Re-integration of Victims of Trafficking; Personalised Care Intervention.
  7. Victims of Trafficking / Witness co-ordination programme.
  8. Multi-disciplinary and Multi-agency Co-operation.
  9. Prevention Initiatives.
  10. Trafficking for Forced Labour with a Focus on Identification, Referral, Protection & Assistance provided to Victims of Trafficking; Co-operation.
  11. Meeting with Victims of Trafficking at the Reaching Out shelter.

In addition to training in the above areas, stimulating learning took place at the hour-long ‘Market Place’ meetings each evening. Each ‘Market station’ provided opportunities for members to share resources, skills and knowledge of work at local level with each other. This time meant that best practices were shared in work done to combat human trafficking and care for victims.

The specific presentations provided by the trainers, are accessible on the members area of the RENATE website, with the substance of the training and interactions forming the body of the Report.
Mass was celebrated at the start of each day. The Liturgy was prepared by Sr. Gabriela Korn.
Daily Theological Reflections, available on the Members’ area of the RENATE website, were led by Sr. Juliet Ory.
For the Reaching Out Shelter, the members travelled to meet with Mrs. Jana Matei, Director of the programme. Along with a ‘cultural’ tour of Bucharest, this was one of the special highlights of the training programme. Members met Mrs. Jana Matei and young women victims of trafficking who are being re-habilitated at the ‘shelter.’  Mrs. Matei’s commitment and care for these young women is striking. Clearly, her positive encouragement and support of them has empowering impact as they are gradually finding their confidence and recovering their self-esteem.

Each working day commenced with Theological Reflections, prepared by Sr. Juliet Ory. This focus for the work of RENATE followed the methodology of ‘The Pastoral Cycle.’ Through these reflections, members were invited to “… bring a faith perspective to the realities we look at in order to work for social justice.” (Rev. Fr. James Hug, SJ) Members reflected on the perennial questions “What are we doing?” and “What more can we do for systemic justice for victims of human trafficking?”
Specific presentations, provided by the trainers, are accessible on the Members’ area of the RENATE website, a general overview follows.
Read more here:
Report on RENATE Training in Romania_1st December 2014_website

RENATE Training on Labour Trafficking & Migration, Romania


Training on Labour Trafficking & Migration for RENATE members has now been organized and will take place in Bucharest, Romania, from Sunday, 2nd November – till Friday, 7th November 2014. We expect 35 participants from fifteen European countries.
Speakers: Mrs. Gina Maria Stoian, Mrs. Iana Matei, Sr. Juliet Ory FCJ, Mr. Florinel Stelian Ionescu. All trainers are experts in their field.