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AMERICA/CHILE - "Let us share the journey of life with everyone": Rancagua and the commitment to migrants

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Posted on: 09/16/17
Rancagua - In recent years it has been estimated that more than half a million migrants have arrived in Chile, mostly from the countries of America. Several thousand arrived in the O'Higgins region, at the center of the country, whose capital is Rancagua. In many cases, these are migrants forced by political conflicts, natural disasters, persecution, violence, extreme poverty, unworthy living conditions ... "We must welcome them, integrate them and enrich their culture", emphasized the Bishop of Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, during the celebration of the Mass for Migrant's Day in the Cathedral of the Diocese, attended by representatives of the various national groups who for several reasons currently live in the region. It was an occasion for prayer, joy, and sharing of different customs.
For four years, the Chilean diocese of Rancagua has created a diocesan team for the pastoral care of migrants, formed by a priest, a religious woman and a group of lay people, including some immigrants, and is working on a pastoral project to give a better response to this new reality. It is currently assisting them in all the necessary procedures for integration in the country under the laws in force, as the Bishop explained. "We are also promoting pastoral actions for those who profess our Catholic faith, trying to integrate them into communities, so that they in turn share the wealth of their spiritual experience", continued Mgr. Goic, pointing out that this is a major challenge that the Church takes on with seriousness.
The document "Where is your brother'" Just published by the diocese of Roncagua, proposes a complex reflection on the pastoral of migrants. In the introduction, titled "Compartiendo el viaje", the same theme of the campaign that will be launched by Caritas internationalis on September 27, the Bishop of Rancagua invites the whole community and all the people of good will of his diocese to welcome and integrate these brothers, following the words of Pope Francis. "We share the journey of life with everyone - writes Mgr. Goic -. The Church is called upon to carry out the hospitality of God to migrants. It is Christ that we embrace in the face of brothers from other countries who come to our country, and especially to our region".
In the document, articulated according to the criterion "see, judge, act", it is emphasized, among other things, that migration is not a new phenomenon, neither in Chile nor in the world. The phenomenon of migration towards Chile has, however, been growing: since 1982 to 2014 . Strong growth, however, cannot be defined "a sort of invasion of foreigners in the country". According to official figures, the current number of migrants does not exceed 2.7% of the Chilean population. 75% of resident foreigners come from countries in the American continent.
"Taking seriously into account human mobility is nothing more than taking seriously into account ourselves - is what is written in the conclusion -. In times of artificial intelligence, social networks and relationships, building bridges rather than building walls is perhaps the only thing that allows us to continue to exist as Humanity".


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