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A person is of more value than a world
A total of 35 people – Good Shepherd sisters, lay associates and sisters of Our Lady of Charity – participated in the Justice and Peace session for Europe, which took place from 18th to 21st January in Angers, France. The session was facilitated by Clare Nolan, Margaret Lynch (from Ireland) and Gilma Muñoz.
The purpose of the meeting was to reflect on the vision of the
individual Good Shepherd units in Europe and on the
commitment to live justice within the areas of priority of the Congregation,
as stated in the 2009 Congregational Chapter Direction Statement.
Good Shepherd Direction, stated at the 29th Congregational Chapter,
July 2009, excerpt/ We commit ourselves... to respond to the anguish of the
world calling us to the margins… by taking courageous steps to use our
international resources effectively, to network and to… Work zealously
with women and children, especially those…who are…forced to migrate.
Good Shepherd International Position on Migration.
(Extract from Resource Tool: Good Shepherd Position Papers).
In a globalized world, people cross borders, temporarily or permanently, for many
reasons. Where populations are mired in conditions of poverty, where
environmental conditions are not sustainable, or where conflict immerses
civilian population in constant violence or virtual dictatorship, people move for
both freedom and survival, seeking better social and economic opportunities.
A migrant is one engaged in activity for payment in a State of which he or she is
not a national. Movement across borders is a perilous journey for those who must
separate from families, who cannot acquire legal documents, have documents
taken from them, cannot communicate in a new language, or lack education and
Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons are
often categorized or labeled, making the regularization of their situation
bureaucratically impossible. Their situation leaves them vulnerable to being
exploited by traffickers and smugglers, even by legally recognized recruiters.
Women are increasingly among the vulnerable populations of people migrating.
Where the male head of household migrates, the women and children left behind are often bereft of any protection or income.
Good Shepherd is part of a Judea-
There exist barriers to the free movements of peoples that contradict human rights.
There is an apprehension of “mass migration” resulting in many restrictive laws. The right of the free movement of the human person has been subordinated to national sovereignty and the dominant rights of the movement of goods and money in this globalized era. While conventions and treaties exist, implementation lags to the disadvantage of those who are most vulnerable in their home society, desperate to seek personal and family security.
Good Shepherd’s first response to migrants and refugees is to welcome them as one would welcome the Divine among us.
We honor the culture and heritage they bring, help them in resettlement or regularization, and celebrate the positive contributions migrants make to the economic, social and cultural lives of a new locality.
The service needs of migrants are complex and extensive – from language skills to health care to social supports, to healing from trauma, to need for employment skills to legal help. We seek to listen to their experiences, accompany them, and develop programs to serve their multiple and varied needs.
We continually update migration issues – patterns, legal requirements, and status so as to advocate for change in systems and structures. We work so that the most vulnerable migrant will receive protection, welcome, and opportunity that every human person ought to be accorded.
In responding fully to our GS Congregational Direction about Migration, it is critical to:
For information or questions, contact:
Clare Nolan, GSIJP Training Facilitator
211 East 43rd St rm 302
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212 599 2711 / SKYPE: clarenolan62
For more information on Good Shepherd Worldwide and to access/download Good Shepherd
Position Papers on other issues such as trafficking/economic justice/prostitution/Girl-