Church’s migrants ministry sending official to Kuwait for OFWs

Church’s migrants ministry sending official to Kuwait for OFWs

Fr. Restituto Ogsimer, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

By Roy Lagarde

April 25, 2018

MANILA

The Philippine Catholic Church is sending a priest to Kuwait to help provide pastoral care and reach out to Filipinos working in the Gulf state, a bishop said.

Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, said the priest will also assess the needs of the Filipino chaplaincy in Kuwait.

“To assist, be of service, and help our Filipino priests there in Kuwait for our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), our ECMI executive secretary will go there this May 1 to 31,” he said.

The bishop was referring to Scalabrinian missionary Fr. Restituto Ogsimer who has been working with ECMI since 2015.

Pastoral work in the Middle East

Currently, there are three Filipino priests assigned in different churches in Kuwait, including Fr. Ruben Barrameda, and Franciscan Fathers Ramon Atanacio and Alfredo Nicua.

The priests are assigned in three churches: the Holy Family Cathedral in Kuwait City, St. Therese in Salmiya, and Our Lady of Arabia in Almadhi.

“They also celebrate Masses at the Philippine embassy and in shelter homes, hear confessions, and do counseling,” said Santos.

Kuwait is home to more than 250, 000 Filipino expatriates, mostly working as domestic workers.

PH-Kuwait relations

Santos also expressed hope that the remaining issues between the Philippines and Kuwait will finally be resolved.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered a deployment ban to Kuwait after the death of a domestic helper allegedly at the hands of her employers.

This week, however, Kuwait lodged a diplomatic protest for violation of its sovereignty after the Philippine government rescued allegedly abused OFWs from Kuwaiti homes.

“It is our prayers and hope that everything will be arranged peacefully in an amicably and diplomatically,” Santos said.