Diocese of Bridgeport and Fairfield University combine efforts to understand migration

Diocese of Bridgeport and Fairfield University combine efforts to understand migration

The Most Rev. William J. Lori, STD, Bishop of Bridgeport, and Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., president of Fairfield University, will lead the second annual collaborative symposium between the Diocese and the University on Monday, Nov. 20, at Alumni House on the Fairfield University campus.

The 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. program will focus on "Migration: The Historical, Economic and Practical Impact on Today's Society."

The day, which promises to be educational and dynamic, will include opening remarks by Bishop Lori and a brief presentation by Rev. Richard J. Ryscavage, S.J., director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Fairfield, on "The Church's Perspective on Migration." Fr. Ryscavage is a former director of the Jesuit Refugee Service USA and served for eight years as head of the Migration and Refugee Services office of the Bishops Conference.

Fr. Ryscavage will moderate a panel of renowned University educators, including Dr. Cecelia Bucki, associate professor of history; Dr. Mark LeClair, professor of economics; and Dr. Terry-Ann Jones, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, all in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Wendy Kohli, associate professor of Curriculum & Instruction in the Graduate School of Education and Applied Professions.

During the afternoon session, Al Barber, president of Catholic Charities, will lead a discussion on the practical issues and opportunities related to Migration, especially as it affects Fairfield County. Mr. Barber will be joined by Msgr. Frank Wissel, pastor of St. Mary's Church in Greenwich and a noted advocate of immigrant rights; Bill Hoey, vice president of Catholic Charities with oversight of Immigration Services; Sr. Nancy Charlesworth, director of Immigration for the Diocese, who recently joined the Diocese from the Archdiocese of Boston; and Alex Arevallo, a case manager who has himself experienced first hand the challenges and obstacles to documentation and succeeded.

A highlight of the day will be the showing of a new and very touching film, "Posada," produced and directed by Mark McGregor, S.J., assistant professor of film in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences. "Posada"portrays the hope and faith of Densi, Johny and Wilber, three young immigrants who, as teenagers, left their homes in Central America for the United States. Their journeys relate to Las Posadas, a religious tradition from Mexico that retells the Christmas story of Joseph and Mary's search for shelter.

Bishop Lori and Fr. von Arx are extremely pleased to continue their joint efforts to educate and stimulate those in Fairfield County on issues of importance to so many. They plan to continue this partnership with other programs of general interest from time to time.

Posted On: 11-10-2006 10:11 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 82