In Sao Paulo meeting on reform and new migrant needs

By Rosinha Martins
From Aparecida -SP

The increasing mobility of human beings throughout the world has led Scalabrinian missionaries to a radical attitude of reform within the Order to better meet the needs of migration and shelter. To continue this process, the Scalabrinian Sisters of the Province of São Paulo met at the São Carlos Professional Center in the city of Aparecida-SP. The event started on the afternoon of this Saturday 10th and ended on the 12th.

According to a report presented by the Mission Manager of the Province of São Paulo, Sister Janet Ferreira (data from the International Organization for Migration), South America contains about 5,826,400 immigrants here for geographical, environmental, political and global economic crisis reasons. the data also reveal a feminization of migrations, since 50.9% of these displaced are women, followed by 17.7% of young people under 20 years of age and 16.5% of those over 65 years of age.

The Latin American countries that have received the largest number of migrants are Argentina with 2 million, Venezuela, 1.4 million and Brazil with 713 thousand emigrants. These come from Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, African countries (Senegal, Congo, Angola, Mozambique, Nigeria, among others), South and Southeast Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, India, Nepal) and from Asia and the Middle East (Syria) These migratory flows tend to increase without precedent in history. The Congregation hastens to reorganize all its dimensions (pastoral, formation, apostolate and administration) in order to face the challenges that this reality proposes.

In this regard, Sister Sandra Maria Pinheiro, Provincial Superior of the Province of St. Paul, stressed that the reorganization of the Congregation should be undertaken as a movement of spiritual renewal rather than administrative, with an attitude of availability, a disposition of heart in the search for the will of God and, rethinking the structures in view of the mission.

According to Pinheiro, this process of reorganization requires that everyone has “a giraffe look”. The giraffe with its big neck can look up and open to horizons. “We need a look that does not exhaust our little world of personal fears and needs,” he said.

For Sister Sandra, the reorganization “is an opportunity to reinvent the Consecrated Religious Life for our times, and thus recover its prophetic character of proclamation because we want to serve more and better for migrants and refugees. Sister Neuza Botelho dos Santos and Sister Ana Conceição Sales, Councillors for Training and Administration, also presented the path taken so far in these areas towards reorganisation.

Present in 27 countries, the Scalabrinian missionaries intend to reduce the number of provinces, unify efforts in all sectors to make more effective the presence where the migratory flows are greater These days are satisfied the Sisters belonging to the Province of Aparecida, based in Sao Paulo, which from the three existing provinces in Brazil will merge into one from December 2018.

Source: Scalabrinian Press