From September 20-26, 2021, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Migration Week. The theme for this year's celebration is "Promoting a Church and a World for All," which reflects the need for Catholics to be welcoming to all our brothers and sisters. It is a call for unity in solidarity with and in care for those who are excluded and marginalized.
"The presence of migrants and refugees – and of vulnerable people in general – is an invitation to recover some of those essential dimensions of our Christian existence and our humanity that risk being overlooked in a prosperous society. That is why it is not just about migrants," stated Pope Francis, during his message for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. "When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays."
Welcoming the newcomer and promoting a Church for all counters what Pope Francis has referred to as "a globalization of indifference," which has led many to ignore the cries of the poor and remain indifferent to those struggling to find a better life. We are called to be an active Church in support of all of God's children. It is with this ideal in mind that we seek a Church that welcomes, protects, promotes, and integrates all, including immigrants and refugees.
There are currently more than 70 million people around the world who have been forcibly displaced from their homes due to political instability, violence, or other reasons.
Ways to commemorate National Migration Week
- Inquire at Catholic Charities Maine about volunteer opportunities, including teaching English to newcomers.
- Host a potluck dinner with newcomers in your community or join in cultural celebrations hosted by parishes.
- Use social media to help educate family members and friends about the importance of supporting members of the refugee / immigrant community.
- Pray that God will inspire all Christians to support and protect migrants and to advocate on their behalf.
- Pray for all refugees who are forced to flee from their homes, that God bring peace to them, their families, and their country of origin.
- Catholic Charities Maine Refugee & Immigration Services
- Catholic Charities Maine American Friends Program and RIS Mentoring Program
- Pope Francis' Message for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees - 2021
- Pope Francis' Message for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees - 2019
- Pope Francis' Message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees - 2018
- Prayer for Migrants & Refugees
- USCCB Justice for Immigrants Website