Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life presenting Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Feb. 3


On Tuesday, Feb. 3, Fairfield University will welcome to campus Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Apostolic Nuncio, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. The archbishop will deliver a talk entitled, "Religion, Migration and National Identity," presented by Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life.  

The event, free and open to the public, will take place in the Multimedia Room of Fairfield University's DiMenna-Nyselius Library at 2 p.m.

The primary focus of his visit will be to further understanding of the 2004 instruction from the Pontifical Council, entitled "The Love of Christ towards Migrants (Erga migrantes caritas Christi)." In doing so, the archbishop will elaborate on the Catholic community's important role in offering hospitality to all migrant and itinerant people. That instruction stated: "We must not, however, forget the generous response of many men and women, associations and organizations which, seeing the sufferings of countless persons caused by emigration, are struggling for the rights of migrants, forced or voluntary, and for their defense. The commitment of these people can be attributed above all to that compassion of Jesus, the Good Samaritan, that the Spirit stirs up everywhere in the hearts of men and women of good will and in the Church too..."

Archbishop Marchetto will be in the United States to be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) in Washington, D.C., as well as to visit Catholic universities. He often speaks about the pastoral care of international students, and has emphasized the importance of helping American students studying abroad seek opportunities of faith development. He also has been vocal about the important role Catholic universities and colleges have in being welcoming to people of all faiths, especially Muslims, Jews and those of other Christian faiths.

Born in Italy, the archbishop was ordained a priest in 1964 and entered into the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1968. Later this year, Scranton Press will publish a book by the archbishop on the Second Vatican Council. He also has written a book, published in Italian, on the topic of hope related to his experience of being a cancer survivor. On November 6, 2001, he was appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

An initiative of the Center for Faith and Public Life aims to transform the national debate on immigration with funding from the Carnegie Corporation. Entitled "Strangers as Neighbors: Religious Language and the Response to Immigrants in the U.S.," the initiative aims to bring systematic analysis of historical contexts, concepts, actions, and ideas to bear on the issue of immigrant integration in the United States.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 23, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 187