Fr. Zaniolo Addresses
the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People in Vatican City
Fr. Michael G. Zaniolo, STL, CAC, Chaplain of O'Hare and Midway Airports and newly re-elected President of the National Conference of Catholic Airport Chaplains, was recently invited to deliver an address to the XVIII Plenary Session of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People at the Palazzo San Calisto in Vatican City. As the name implies, this Pontifical Council oversees the Church's outreach to people who are on the move. This includes Air and Sea travelers and those who provide their journeys, gypsies, carnival and circus workers, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and itinerant workers.
The Plenary Meeting, which calls together all of the cardinals, bishops, and archbishops who are members, as well as clergy and lay consultors and experts to discuss some of the more pressing issues of our times regarding people on the move, had the theme entitled, "The Migrant and
Itinerant Family." Twenty people had prepared presentations (also known as interventions), while several others had shorter "responses" or points for discussion. The Plenary Session opened on Tuesday, May 13, with an address by His Eminence, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, President of the Pontifical Council. On Wednesday, Fr. Zaniolo presented his intervention entitled, "Airport Chaplaincies and the Situation of Airport Workers, Air Crews, and their Families." The full text can be found at: www.nccac.us/Z0508.pdf
Cardinal Martino gave a brief summary of the meeting in an address to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, at an audience the Plenary Session members had with the Pope on May 15. The official Proceedings of the Plenary Session will not be published for several weeks. The Holy
Father stated that, "People who go to Mass -- and the celebration of Mass must also be facilitated for migrants and itinerant peoples -- find in the Eucharist a powerful allusion to their own family, their own marriage; and they are encouraged to live their lives from the point of view of faith, seeking in divine grace the strength to succeed."
"Human mobility represents, in today's globalized world, an important frontier for new evangelization, "said the pope as he encouraged the members and consultors of the Pontifical Council, "to continue your pastoral commitment with renewed zeal."