Pope Francis reminds all communities that migrants and refugees are brothers and sisters searching better life. Many leave their home being forced to do so for different reasons. Among them, he indicates are natural disasters, war, persecution, poverty, hunger, exploitation, unjust distribution of the planet’s resources or others. The media informs daily about millions of migrants, exiles and refugees, seafarers, air-travellers, gypsies or others who search protection and better life.
The Archdiocese’s Department of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees promotes new life, integration and solidarity of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who continue to arrive at our office seeking different help. Many times we face complete inability of meeting their needs.
Parishes should also welcome migrants and refugees.
These people are called to come to terms with their own histories and to overcome their injuries. Their journey was caused by the double relationship of love and hatred for a country that has forced them to emigrate. At the same time, they experience bitterness because of suffering and frustrated dreams. Disappointment and anger accompany refugees and asylum seekers because they come from countries that call themselves democratic, but which suppress their thirst and quest for freedom.
The people of God are a people gathered under the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian unity becomes the pastoral model in the context of migration and welcoming communities to deal with the unity and diversity. The church becomes an example of communion, named the “house of all”. This requires the church to accompany the processes of the people in the move, respecting their rhythms as well their new community. The migrants and tefugees are providential agents who offer the local church the opportunity to realise their own Catholic vocation.
The list of new appointments for parishes pastoral councils are coming through to the Chancery offices. Many indicated the need of a formation day. This will take place on 8 October at 9:00am in the boardroom at the Cathedral hall.
We entrust all the parishes that receive the people on-the- move to Mary, St Joseph and Jesus who also experienced the suffering of exile, being forced to flee to Egypt to escape the persecution of Herod.
Grant us the grace to welcome them with Christian hospitality, so that these brothers and sisters may find acceptance and understanding in their journey.
Maria de Lurdes Lodi Rissini, mscs
HOD Pastoral Care