Scalabrinian Family in the world
«Faced with this lamentable situation, I have often asked myself: how can it be remedied?»
John Baptist Scalabrini lived in a time of great transformations and knew its dramas: at the end of the 19th century there were hundreds of thousands of Italians and Europeans leaving their country every year and facing the uncertainties and sufferings of migration. Scalabrini could have stopped at compassion for so much pain, but instead he became “neighbor to neighbor” and asked himself, “What can be done for them? “
More than a century after his death, the fruits of his legacy are still being harvested: today there are thousands of missionaries and volunteers around the world who embrace the Scalabrinian charism and become “migrants with migrants”, to collaborate in God’s dream of uniting all peoples into one family.
MIGRANTS WITH MIGRANTS
The Scalabrinian Missionaries
Founded on November 28, 1887 by John Baptist Scalabrini, the Scalabrinian Missionaries are about 650 religious in 33 countries around the world.
Their mission is to open themselves to God through the encounter with migrants; they become companions of refugees to discover with them that Jesus is part of their journey; they promote respect for the dignity of migrants; they support the cultural freedom of migrants, bearers of rights and duties; they witness with them their belonging to the Kingdom announced by Jesus.
There are more than 170 Scalabrinian missions in the world: they work mainly in parishes and chaplaincies. They have opened 27 Migrant Houses and 13 Centers of the Apostleship of the Sea, where they assist seafarers and sea workers. There are 20 schools run by the missionaries in Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and Haiti.
SERVING CHRIST WITH MIGRANTS
Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters
Following in the footsteps of John Baptist Scalabrini, Blessed Assunta Marchetti and the servant of God Father Joseph Marchetti, the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters recognize, love and serve Christ in the person of migrants.
Every day they assist 12,000 migrants worldwide. Specifically, the Missionary Sisters are present in: 13 schools, 4 hospitals, 4 Psychosocial Assistance Centers (CAPS) and 6 Alternative Health Centers in Brazil, 25 Homes and Centers for the reception and promotion of migrants and refugees (in South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mozambique, Paraguay, Italy, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, mainly in border areas). In total, there are 110 missions opened by the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters in 25 countries around the world.
Since 2018, the congregation has launched the Itinerant Service project, characterized by assisting migrants and refugees in border areas: in Roraima, Brazil; in the Northern and Southern Borders of Mexico; in Ventimiglia, Italy; and in Pemba, Mozambique.
CHANGING THE WORLD FROM WITHIN
Scalabrinian Secular Missionaries
Fifty-six years after the death of Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini, the journey of the Institute of the Scalabrinian Secular Missionaries began on July 25, 1961, with the yes of Adelia Firetti, a young teacher from Piacenza, who arrived in Switzerland at the invitation of the Scalabrinians to start a school for the children of Italian immigrants.
This new charism in the Scalabrinian Family has as its mission to live secular consecration on the roads of migrant exodus. Without external signs to distinguish them, the Scalabrinian Secular Missionaries work and carry out professions in the most diverse environments and contexts of the multi-ethnic societies of our time to transform from within every reality, especially the migratory one, into an experience of encounter and welcome.
Following the roads and frontiers of migration, they are present in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Mexico and Vietnam. Their locations, and in particular the “J.B. Scalabrini” International Centers” become meeting places where with young people of various nationalities, cultures and religions, one learns to look at the foreigner and every reality, particularly that of migration, with new eyes.
Houses for Migrants
The Scalabrinian Missionaries and Missionaries sisters perform hospitality service to all kinds of migrants, deportees, refugees. They have opened 52 Houses around the world: welcome centers and places for the promotion of human rights, where food and lodging, spiritual support, medical and legal assistance, vocational training programs and job placement are offered.
Migrant Houses arise in border places, where migrants try to get to their destination and where they are often turned away, but also in large cities, where people arrive in search of work and have nowhere to live. Those who are trafficked find refuge in these centers.
Pastoral care of refugees does not stop at the moment of arrival, but continues even when migrants are no longer young. Many of them cannot return to their country, and, especially if they become ill, they need support. In North America, Europe and Australia, the Scalabrinian Missionaries have opened ten shelters for older migrants.
Stella Maris is the network of support and spiritual assistance to sea workers. This ministry of presence and support is rooted in the origins of the Scalabrinian Congregation, when thousands of Italian migrants ventured by sea to America.
The organization is present in small and large port cities around the world through Stella Maris Centers, important points of reference for seafarers who, after long periods at sea with grueling work rhythms and low wages, can find welcome and rest here. The centers offer seafarers lodging, spiritual care, training programs, access to international phone lines and the Internet to connect with their families. When they are prevented from going ashore, they are visited on board by a team of Catholic priests and lay people. Worldwide, there are more than 1,000 missionaries and volunteers who are part of the Stella Maris network, present in 300 ports, in 54 countries.
In South America, the network includes Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Santos), Uruguay (Montevideo), Argentina (Buenos Aires) and two new branches in Chile (Arica) and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. In Europe, the Stella Maris office is located in Italy (Ravenna). In Asia, Stella Maris’ presence extends to the Philippines (Manila and Quezon City), Taiwan (Taipei, Kaohsiung) and Japan (Tokyo). In South Africa, the Office of the Apostleship of the Sea is located in Cape Town.
The Scalabrini Migration Study Centers (SMSCs) are 8 study centers, entirely dedicated to delving into the migration phenomenon, promoting coexistence between migrants and host communities, and advocating for public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons, and seafarers.
Located in major cities around the world (New York, Paris, Rome, Cape Town, São Paulo, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Manila), the Centers are ideally situated to monitor the development of international migration. Each year they produce specialized publications (journals, monographs and academic articles); they offer a documentation service and a program of conferences and educational activities.
The SMSCs follow the example of Scalabrini who was able to awaken public interest in the affairs of migrants, fought for better legislation and left behind a group of female and male missionaries, and volunteers who continue his work.