Office for migrants opens at Mont Fleuri


07-June-2013

Minister Meriton addressing guests at the opening of the new office

The office for migrants and itinerant people is a renovated building located next to the good shepherd Church at Mont Fleuri and was officially opened by Bishop Denis Wiehe of the Roman Catholic Church.

The ceremony took place in the presence of the Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton, the National Assembly member for Les Mamelles Emmanuel Fideria, Father Roger De Commarmond of the Mont Fleuri parish, the office’s director Father Emerick Louison and members of different foreign communities.

The opening of the office coincided with the anniversary of the death of the blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, an Italian bishop who at the end of the 19th century - a period of heavy migration to Italy - founded various missionaries for migrants. Bishop Scalabrini is considered as the “father of migrants” by the Vatican, which through its Pontifical Council, sent a goodwill message for the occasion of Saturday’s opening ceremony. The message was read by Polycarp Maya Achari, a Kenyan national currently living in Seychelles.

Invited to say a few words for the occasion, Minister Meriton described the opening of the office for migrants and itinerant people as “a very important show of compassion and solidarity whereby we warmly welcome visitors and foreigners to our shores”.

“The centre will offer foreigners the opportunity to enjoy our culture and also permit us Seychellois to discover and appreciate foreign culture. Through this office we will offer assistance to foreigners irrespective of their origins, religion, creed or race,” Minister Meriton said.

He called upon all Seychellois to see the office as a means to convey the message of hospitality and compassion to other nations:
“We live on one earth, in one village and we have one heart and one soul,” Minister Meriton said.

Father Louison’s reply to the minister came in the form of a prayer. He prayed that the office, which God has offered as a “house for all nations, will permit the spread of the pastoral ministry to the peripheries and will facilitate acculturation, permitting us to become one heart and one soul no matter how different we can be”.

After Bishop Wiehe had blessed the office guests were invited to tour the facilities, which include a reception with coffee area, an office, meeting and prayer room as well as a small kitchen.

The setting up of the centre has been funded by the Roman Catholic Mission. Its day to day running will be financed by the English speaking community in Seychelles as well as the Good Shepherd and Plaisance parishes.

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