Virtually all of the Catholic Church’s signature institutions — its parishes, schools, universities, hospitals, charities, fraternal and sororal institutions, worker centers and others — arose in response to the needs of past waves of immigrants. While the Church’s work with immigrants remains robust, Catholic institutions have not fully pivoted to meet the needs and incorporate the gifts of the nation’s record number of immigrants and their children, most of whom are Catholic.
The Catholic Immigrant Integration Project, an initiative of the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), examines whether Catholic institutions have maintained their special connection to immigrant communities in the United States and how they can strengthen their individual and collective work on immigrant integration. In this webinar, Donald Kerwin, CMS’s Executive Director, introduced the project in more detail and discussed the role Catholic institutions play in fostering civic participation, improving educational outcomes and promoting the socio-economic attainment of immigrants, their children, and their grandchildren. He also outlined a Catholic vision of integration, and discussed the importance of immigrant leadership and participation in Catholic institutions. Mary L. Gautier, Senior Research Associate for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) and a member of the Advisory Group to the Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative, spoke on the growing importance of immigrant and minority communities for the US Catholic Church and the misalignment between the Catholic Church’s institutional infrastructure and new immigrant communities.
Center for Migration Studies
Mary L. Gautier
Senior Research Associate
Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate