The Department of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees of the Catholic Archdiocese of Johannesburg, aims to promote dialogue, welcome and to integrate Migrants and Refugees with
the local community. Motivated by our mission, we strongly condemn the ongoing atrocities and violence in our Country, leading to inhuman attitudes towards immigrants.
In the message to the “101st day of Migrants and Refuges”, Pope Francis called us to defend and protect life. We are called to spread the culture of acceptance, respect, communion and
solidarity. In fact, our refugees and Asylum seekers leave their homelands with a suitcase full of fears, and desires, taking a trip in search of better life and living conditions.
We are called to value the positive signs of economical contributions of migrants to South Africa. Migrants are part of the economic and social development of our Country. South Africa,
let’s not forget our history and where we come from. Migrants and Nationals, we cannot live isolated; we are called to co-exist, to be the promoters of peace in the spirit of Christianity and
Ubuntu where unity reigns; where there are no frontiers and no isolations from the globalized world.
As a Church, we would like to recall the words of Pope Francis when he says: “Dear migrants and Refugees! You have a special place in the heart of our Church, and you help her to enlarge
her heart and to manifest her motherhood towards the entire human family. Do not lose your faith and hope! Let us think of the Holy Family during the flight in Egypt: Just as the maternal
heart of the Blessed Virgin and the kind heart of Saint Joseph kept alive the confidence that God would never abandon them, so in you may the same hope in the Lord never be wanting”.
The mission of the church is of acceptance without distinction or limits by living the gospel “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was stranger and you received me
in your homes” (Mt 25, 35).
Released by: Fr. Ivaldo Bettin, cs.
Vicar for Pastoral Care of Migrants & Refugees
Catholic Archdiocese of Johannesburg
Tel: 011 402 6406