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Saturday, 26 June 1976


We are happy to extend a cordial welcome to the members of the Symposium of the American Committee on Italian Migration.

It was in response to the promptings of the American Hierarchy and as loyal and committed citizens of the United States that you have endeavored over the past quarter of a century to work for the application of the principles of the Gospel to the important field of immigration. You have been motivated by sentiments of understanding and compassion, and guided by criteria of justice and equity, fraternity and charity.

Some days ago, in honour of the Bicentennial of your nation, we wrote to the American Bishops and thanked them for their pastoral concern “for the condition of migrants, for the dignity of immigrants” (Lettera della domenica di Pentecoste, 6 giugno 1976). And today we express to you and to all your colleagues our gratitude for the worthy activities of your own apostolate.

We know the efforts you have expended in working to reunite members of families, and in proclaiming the sanctity of the family bond. We appreciate the educational initiatives you have made to alert public opinion to the inestimable value-consonant with your great American tradition-of welcoming immigrants to your land. We attest to the worth of social services rendered in the name of Christ to those who first are guests and later become full fellowcitizens of America, as was the case of your own forefathers.

And to you and to all those who are attentive to this area of life and who work to assist immigrants goes a great measure of the merit of their achievement. We are thinking of the civic and religious contribution-personal and collective-of Italian immigrants and of so many other ethnic groups that compose the fabric of your nation and constitute the unity of your people. This unity derived from diverse elements in aptly indicated in the very motto of the United States: E pluribus unum.

To all your fellow Americans who make up this “one nation under God” we renew our good wishes and the expression of our esteem and friendship.

And invoking upon yourselves grace and strength to continue in your apostolate of Christian fellowship and service, we impart to you and to your families our Apostolic Blessing.


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