Washington, D.C., June 28, 2023 — Holy Rosary Church, the national church of the Italian-American community in Washington, D.C., is pleased to announce the formation of Scalabrini Outreach of D.C. (SO-DC), a new ministry devoted to improving the lives of migrants and refugees in the greater Washington area. This ministry is the culmination of extensive dialogue with the Scalabrinian Superior General, Father Leonir Chiarello; with former Holy Rosary pastor, Father Ezio Marchetto, and administrator, Father Andrei Zanon; and with current pastor, Father Sergio Dall’Agnese. These discussions also included the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), based in New York City. The Holy Rosary Church ministry will join a network of ten other Scalabrini parish pastoral centers in our province already at work assisting migrant communities throughout the East Coast.
The three pillars of Scalabrini Outreach are to:
- serve as a resource in advocacy and awareness as well as information sharing to the Scalabrini network;
- advocate for migrants and refugees who are seeking a better life; and
- support organizations that provide individuals of diverse backgrounds with food, clothing, and other resources that promote human dignity.
With Holy Rosary’s strategic location in the nation’s capital, the new ministry is uniquely positioned to serve as a liaison and resource for the larger Scalabrini network. As a first step, SO-DC will focus on exploring advocacy opportunities and on building awareness about the Scalabrinians’ and SIMN’s extensive humanitarian efforts worldwide. The community outreach pillar will honor the Italian immigrant heritage of Holy Rosary Church by developing programs that respond to the needs of migrants and refugees in our community.
Initially, SO-DC plans to organize quarterly food and clothing drives to benefit the communities of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a Scalabrini parish in Riverdale Park, MD, and Our Lady Queen of Peace in Arlington, VA. Both parishes serve large migrant populations. We will also be exploring opportunities to partner with established social service agencies and immigrant rights organizations actively working to help our neighbors in need.
The parish of Holy Rosary Church was officially founded on December 13, 1913, and formally opened its church building doors on April 29, 1923. In 1960, the Missionaries of St. Charles/ Scalabrinians assumed the pastoral ministry at the church. The Scalabrinians were founded by John Baptist Scalabrini in 1887 and are dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants, refugees, seafarers, people on the move, and displaced people in need worldwide. Canonized by Pope Francis in October 2022, Saint Scalabrini devoted his life to helping Italian immigrants and refugees live with dignity. SO-DC looks forward to continuing the work of Saint Scalabrini and building on the rich traditions of service at Holy Rosary Church.
Photo: Holy Rosary Church’s Photo Album. https://www.holyrosarychurchdc.org/photoalbums/easter-2022
Contact: Christine T. Gordon