(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People will hold the XVI World Seminar of Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplains and Chaplaincy Members in Rome 10-13 June 2015. Some 90 delegates from 23 countries will reflect on the theme: “Evangelii Gaudium: what support for the pastoral care of airport chaplaincy?”
With some 30 million flights carrying 3 billion passengers to destinations around the world in 2014 alone, the international aviation industry is an essential part of modern life. Within this context, Catholic Chaplains seek to serve aviation passengers and workers in the industry and care for airport chapels as part of the Church's pastoral ministry. They also offer humanitarian assistance, particularly with regard to irregular migrants held in airport detention centers, and in emergency situations such as accidents.
Council President Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò will introduce the seminar 10 June and the Council Secretary, Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil will examine how Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” should be implemented in pastoral care for members of the Civil Aviation community and its passengers.
Pastoral concerns and importance of interreligious dialogue
On Thursday, 11 June, delegates will hear Deacon Ray Oden, Treasurer of the U.S. National Conference of Catholic Airport Chaplains (NCCAC), present a report of activities and issues of concern and Fr. Miguel Ayuso Guixot, mccj, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, will speak on the importance of dialogue against religious extremism culture.
Reports will also be presented from the European Secretariat of Catholic Aviation Chaplains and the International Association of Civil Aviation Chaplains (IACAC).
Bishop of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino Italy Ambrogio Spreafico will address the issue of Evangelization: instrument of peace and credible witness of a reconciled life. And, Mr. Vito Riggio, President of the Italian National Civil Aviation Authority, will speak on how the various needs of the airport community can be supported.
Participants will be received in audience by Pope Francis 12 June.
The Seminar will conclude with a series of workshops and discussions on current problems in airport pastoral care and proposals for how to address them. The meeting will be followed by a pilgrimage Saturday 13 June to Assisi.