UPCOMING KEY DATES:
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
National Migration Week
World Day of Migrants and Refugees – “Welcoming, Protecting, Promoting and Integrating Migrants and Refugees”
Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita
June 20, 2018
World Refugee Day
Share the Journey
In September 2017, Pope Francis called all Catholics to Share the Journey with our neighbors – all our neighbors. The initiative, in collaboration with Caritas Internationalis, urges us to understand and get to know refugees and migrants who have fled poverty, hunger, violence, persecution and the effects of climate change in their homeland. Share the Journey, as Pope Francis says, is meant, “Not just to see but to look. Not just to hear but to listen. Not just to meet and pass by but to stop. And don’t just say, ‘What a shame, poor people,’ but to allow ourselves to be moved by pity.”
Welcoming immigrants is part of the Catholic Social Teaching and reflects the Biblical tradition to welcome the stranger. The Catholic Church has been welcoming immigrants to the U.S. since the nation’s founding. In 2003, in a pastoral letter, “Strangers Together on the Journey,” Catholic bishops of Mexico and the United States wrote, “Our common faith in Jesus Christ moves us to search for ways that favor a spirit of solidarity. It is a faith that transcends borders and bids us to overcome all forms of discrimination and violence so that we may build relationships that are just and loving.”
The Sisters of Charity, in 2007, issued their own statement saying, “We recognize the rights of all our immigrant/refugee sisters and brothers. … and we will continue our direct outreach to immigrants and refugees.” This year, the Sisters of Charity Communications Office will be incorporating the Share the Journey theme into its Communications efforts, providing articles, information and photographs to help others to “get in touch with the real migrant.”
Join us this year as we Share the Journey.
National Migration Week - Jan. 7-14, 2018
During National Migration Week the Church provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children and victims and survivors of human trafficking.
This year’s theme, Many Journeys, One Family, reminds us that each of our families has a migration story, and regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family and are called to live in solidarity with one another.
There are currently more than 65 million people around the world who have been forcibly displaced from their homes due to political instability, violence, and other reasons. We must continue to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters.
We are reminded of Hebrews 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angles unaware.” Celebrate these words throughout the year.
The Catholic Church has been welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States since the nation’s founding and has been integral to helping them integrate into American culture.
Pope Francis invites us to be part of a culture of encounter as we welcome, protect, integrate and promote immigrants and refugees in our midst.
The Administration recently determined that only 45,000 refugees could come to the U.S. in the coming year Fiscal Year 2018. That is the lowest refugee determination in U.S. history. We can and must do better.
During this time of global displacement, we need to listen to our Catholic calling and welcome in the refugees who have been forced from their homes. As we look to the Bible for guidance we must remember that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, was also a refugee.
Good and gracious God,
We pray for all people who are migrating
particularly those who are forced from their homes or separated from their families
because of threats of violence and persecution.
We ask that you protect and keep them safe.
Although we come from different countries,
and have our origins in different cultures,
we were all created by you, and are made in your image, and therefore we all share an inalienable dignity that is deserving of respect.
Lord, we ask that you give us the strength
to defend those who are marginalized,
to give aid to those in need,
to come to the defense of those
who are poor or vulnerable,
and to welcome those who are on the move
into our homes and into our hearts.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
forever and ever.Amen.