Cultures of Diaspora

April 8, 2014
DePaul University

Margarita Mooney
~ Associate Research Scientist in Sociology, Yale University

Michel Andraos
~ Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies & Ministry, Catholic Theological Union

As part of the "Catholics in Diaspora" portion of World Catholicism Week, each speaker presented a different perspective on the cultures of diaspora. Margarita Mooney's talk, "Migration & Resilience: Towards a New Model of Health for People & Communities," explores the following questions: How do people who have lost both family members & their home country find the inner strength to deal with poverty & marginalization? What are the social structures that support resilience among migrants? Through personal narratives of Haitian migrants, Dr. Mooney shows how religious communities are particularly powerful sources of resilience. Religious liturgies, strong relationships in religious communities, & the social services provided within such communities integrate the whole human: person, body, soul & mind.

Michel Andraos speaks on "Levantine Catholic Communities in the Diaspora at the Intersection of Many Worlds." He addresses how Levantine Catholic communities in the diaspora face the challenge of maintaining their religious & cultural identities & traditions as well as reinterpreting these traditions in a meaningful way to the second generation. He identifies some of these challenges & offers a theological reflection on the future of these communities in North America.

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