In a key period for refugees, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS UK) and Caritas Westminster are offering parish resources to celebrate the upcoming World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday 24th September.
JRS UK blasted the recent Government policy of housing refugees on the Bibby Stockholm barge as ‘wholly inappropriate’ and an attempt to ‘dehumanise’ people seeking asylum. Catholic charities also oppose the Government’s controversial Illegal Migration Bill on moral grounds. Challenging this Bill is a key area of action.
An extensive set of downloadable resources are offered to mark the day, including a text for speaking about the Day at Mass, information for a parish bulletin insert, ideas for bidding prayers and parish activities. A poster and prayer bookmark for Migrants and Refugees are also available.
JRS UK and Caritas Westminster both campaign for refugees and for just policies, based on Catholic Social Teaching, which protect refugees and allow them to flourish.
On 20th September at 6pm, the Catholic Social Action Network will lead a webinar on the theme of the 2023 World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Speakers will include Bishop Paul McAleenan, lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and CAFOD Director Christine Allen. A representative from the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Human Development will also be present.
The World Day of Migrants and Refugees offers an opportunity to explore the issue of refugees and migrants from a Catholic perspective, to pray and to put faith into action.
This year, the theme is: “Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay”. In his message for the day, Pope Francis said: “Migrants flee because of poverty, fear or desperation. We need to make every effort to halt the arms race, economic colonialism, the plundering of other people’s resources and the devastation of our common home.”
Pope Francis is calling for a response to the issue based on the ‘dignity of each migrant’ and is urging communities to be ‘ready to welcome, protect, promote and integrate everyone, without distinctions and without excluding anyone.’
For more information, visit www.cbcew.org.uk/wdmr/
Picture: James Trewby and Jane Lavery of the Columban Justice Peace and Ecology Team at a ‘Migrant Justice’ protest outside the DSEI arms fair in East London.