Notre Dame hosts conference on the Catholic Church and immigration

Author: Michael O. Garvey

"The Church and Immigration"

Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini of Guatemala and University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will be among the scholars, pastoral workers, church leaders, public policymakers and advocates for migrants and refugees who will gather at the University from March 2 to 5 for a conference on the role of the Catholic Church in the lives of migrants and refugees.

Titled “The Church and Immigration” and hosted by Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, the conference will begin with a keynote address by Bishop Ramazzini at 7 p.m. March 2 (Sunday) in the McKenna Hall auditorium. Other bishops at the conference will include Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chair of the USCCB communications committee.

Father Jenkins will welcome conference participants with introductory remarks on the need for immigration reform. Father Jenkins and other presidents from Catholic colleges and universities signed a letter last summer to Catholic members of the House of Representatives urging them to “pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes the road to earned citizenship.”

Along with issues arising from immigration history, politics, law and public policy, the conference will particularly concern what the Catholic Church has done, is doing now and could do in the future in its ministry to migrants and refugees. It will include workshop discussions on such topics as “Immigration Politics in the New South," "Immigrant Voters and the Changing American Electorate,” “Human Trafficking,” “The Mexican-American Border and The Kino Border Initiative,” and “DREAMers in Catholic Higher Education.”

Portions of the conference will be broadcast live and are accessible online.

Contact: Colleen Cross,