The Scalabrini Center's mission is to help the immigrants and refugees of Montreal to adapt, settle and integrate into society. This mission is based upon humane values, cooperation and the mutual respect of the person.


Our Vision is to become a leader in the area of immigrant reception. This vision includes being a Center which responds in a real and tangible way to the true needs of immigrants, helping them to integrate socially, educationally and become productive in our society. We also desire to use this leadership to facilitate understanding and dialogue, while we approach the members of all cultures and communities in society.


  • Support and encourage asylum seekers to take charge of their own immigration process in order to obtain refugee status or to become permanent residents.
  • Provide immigrants and accepted refugees all the resources they need to enter the work force, through workshops.
  • Develop helpful programs for immigrants and accepted refugees in the areas of lodging, education, healthcare, etc.
  • Encourage learning and the promotion of the French language and of career training for newcomers.
  • Create an ambience of social and cultural sharing to assist newcomers in dealing with all the problems of integration and immigration they may encounter.

Principles, Values and Ethics

We are inspired in the principles of love and helping the needy. We consider that it is of vital importance to respect the fundamental rights of the immigrant and refugee.


The Scalabrini Center was born from the deep desires of the parishioners of the Hispanic, African and Haitian cultures at the Church of Notre Dame de Pompei (St Michel-Sauvé). These parishioners were immigrants to Canada, who sought help for their problems regarding the immigration process.

The founders of the center knew they were helpless and despaired [of forming the center] at which point the priest, who had little knowledge of the subject, responded to meet the needs of immigrants. So in early 2000, the parishioners were granted access to a small office, where the current director Mr. Miguel Arévalo, worked as a volunteer, twice a week.

Despite the inconveniences and during little time the director had, the center's needs grew so that it had to open a larger and more independent office. To this end, the Scalabrini Missionaries purchased the Santa Rita church so that the rectory, the basement and the parish hall could be occupied by the Scalabrini Center for Refugees and Immigrants being administered by the Board with Miguel Arévalo as General Manager.

A year later, the shelter opened its doors. The four rooms available were used to accommodate poor immigrants and give them support in their integration into Quebec society. Because of the small number of rooms, the center had decided to initially provide living quarters for single men and then later offer this same service to women in 2004. Currently, the Scalabrini Centre has ten rooms.