International Migrants and Refugees Network

International Migrants and Refugees Network


Given the magnitude of the current migratory phenomenon, and after providing a concrete response in Sicily, UISG wishes to set up a second phase for its engagement. This phase will be wider and more international, with the creation of an office that will seek to raise reflections, prayer and concrete and articulate answers to the question: What can we do to respond it? 



As a first step UISG wanted gradually establish an international network connecting congregations that work in the field of migration. The international desk in its 3 years of existence:


  • Initiated the collection of a data base of the Congregations working in this field, 
  • Raised awareness among the congregations, journalism, Civil Society and Holy See embassies. Developed a partnership with The Dicastery for the Integral Human Development, JRS International, Centro Astalli and SIMI. 
  • Organized Formation Workshop on line and on site open to all the Congregations. Worked together with the UISG-USG JPIC Promoters group.


The need for researching and extending connections among UISG Congregations to assess what is already happening and who is already working in the area of migrants and refugees became apparent. As well there is a desire to support and connect those in this ministry, whether in direct service or advocacy efforts.



Goal of the Second Phase is to respond to the new challenges of migration in the 21st century:


  1. To create a network of support for religious congregations working in this field and encourage those congregations who would like to enter this ministry.
  2. To develop reflection processes on the phenomenon of migration and to explore the implication for formation and mission within religious congregations.
  3. To develop a spirituality that allow us to be converted by the migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, displaced people.




Sr. Carmen Elisa Bandeo, SSpS:

Migrants in Sicily

Our inter-congregational community in Lampedusa takes care of welcoming migrants reaching European coasts.

Since 2015, a number of sisters from different congregations and countries have created Inter-congregational communities in their joint commitment of building bridges between migrants and local realities.

Reality is showing us that we are no longer in a period of emergency, but we feel the need to be present in a place of suffering. We have also the desire to accompany the Lampedusian people and be part of the life of the parish.

The community of 4 sisters welcome the migrants upon their arrival on the island, accompanied by the civil authorities (Guardia Costiera). They are working in the name of the parish and with the NGOs present on the island. 

For the project we always look for sisters speaking English, Arabic, and Italian.



Sr. Antonietta Papa, fmm:

Lampedusa Community


Sr Ines Gizzarelli, Religiose del Sacro Cuore di Maria


Sr Angela Cimino, Suore Dorotee di Vicenza


Sr Rufina Pinto e Sr Danila  Antunovic, Suore di Caritas della Santa Croce

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