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For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which provides an opportunity for the Church to highlight the presence and situation of immigrants, refugees, victims, and survivors of human trafficking. The week serves as a time for both prayer and action in support of immigrants and refugees.
Organized by Justice for Immigrants at the U.S. Conference for Catholic Bishops, the theme for this year’s celebration is “Building Communities of Welcome.” It emphasizes our responsibility and opportunity as Catholics to engage and welcome newcomers on their arrival and help to ease their transition into a new life here in the United States. To read more about this observation and to download resources visit Justice for Immigrants’ website or at the link below.
Educational materials and other resources for National Migration Week are available for download at https://justiceforimmigrants.org/take-action/national-migration-week/.
National Migration Week is January 8 -14, 2017
The US Bishops have designated January 8 through January 14, 2017 as National Migration Week. This observance calls people of faith to join in solidarity with immigrants, migrants, refugees and victims of human trafficking.
The theme for the 2017 National Migration Week is Creating a Culture of Encounter. It focuses on developing awareness of newcomers within our faith communities and celebrating our diversity and richness together as a family of God. This observance is an initiative of the US Bishops and provides Catholics an opportunity to take stock of the wide diversity within the Church and work for justice for immigrants and refugees.
The Missionary Oblates JPIC Office invites you to use this opportunity to pray, raise awareness and educate your communities on the issue of immigration and Catholic Social Teaching.
The following liturgical resources and a National Migration Week 2017 Toolkit can be downloaded at the US Bishops’ website:
- A digital copy of the National Migration Week 2017 Prayer Card.
- A collection of prayers for use in your National Migration Week celebrations.
- A homily can be used to help frame a message to parishioners on migration.
- Petitions at your National Migration Week mass, or other gatherings that reflect on the situation confronting migrants.
Our faith calls us to pray, fast, and give to charity during Lent. As we look inward and spiritually reflect on our own lives, let us also remember our struggling brothers and sisters around the world and even people right in our backyards. To help support your Lenten devotion, Missionary Oblates JPIC is pleased to offer weekly resources centered on a justice theme.
WEEK III — The environment/climate change is this week’s focus. 2015 was the year for global action on the environment with several significant happenings, including the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home, and huge rallies for the environment held around the world. Download the resource here.
lWEEK II — This second week we focus on the global occurrence of modern day slavery, also known as human trafficking. An estimated 30 million people worldwide are trafficked at any given time. Please feel free to share this resource with your congregations, communities and use during your prayer time. Download the resource here.
WEEK I — This week’s focus is migration, a pressing global issue that affects us all. Please feel free to share this resource with your congregations, communities and use during your prayer time. Download the resource here.
National Migration Week 2016
“A Stranger and You Welcomed Me”
National Migration Week will be observed January 3 to 9. The theme for the 2016 observance is, “A Stranger and You Welcomed Me.” Oblate JPIC is inviting you to use this opportunity to pray, raise awareness and educate your communities on the issue of immigration and Catholic Social Teaching.
We are a community called and gathered by you, God. Your son, Jesus, lived your love in a community of apostles and disciples and invited them to look after one another. We ask you to help us not to forget that we all are called to imitate the example of your Son among ourselves.
The Church hears the suffering cry of all who are uprooted from their own land, of families forcefully separated, of those who, in the rapid changes of our day, are unable to find a stable home anywhere. She senses the anguish of those without rights, without any security, at the mercy of every kind of exploitation, and she supports them in their unhappiness. [We are called to work] so that every person’s dignity is respected, the immigrant is welcomed as a brother or sister, and all humanity forms a united family, which knows how to appreciate with discernment the different cultures, which comprise it.
(Pope John Paul II Message for World Migration Day 2000)
We pray that you provide your divine protection to all migrants, particularly those who are driven from their homes due to war or violence, who are uprooted due to environmental degradation and climate change, or whose material poverty pushes them to find opportunities elsewhere.
Show us how we might reach out to these vulnerable populations and help them to begin a new life in a new home. Open our hearts, so that we may provide hospitality for all who come in search of refuge. Give us the courage to welcome every stranger, as Christ in our midst. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
(Prayer from USCCB National Migration Week 2016)
We pray for all people. We pray for those who leave their countries of origin in search for a better life for their families. Help us to stand strong in our actions of solidarity and prayers. Give courage to our elected leaders to do the right thing of enacting laws that protects all immigrant families.You always make something new in each one of us.
With your help, let us build a better world for all people.We pray in Jesus name.
Specific resources for National Migration Week 2016 can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/about/migration-and-refugee-services/national-migration-week/
A delegation from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently traveled to Central America and Mexico to examine and understand why unaccompanied migrant children are fleeing the region in such record numbers.
The situation has reached crisis level. Whereas the number of children apprehended on the U.S./Mexico border averaged 6,800 between 2004-2011, it jumped to over 13,000 children in 2012 and over 24,000 children in 2013. The projected number for fiscal year 2014 is 60,000-70,000. Most come from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
There are many factors that prompt these children to undertake such a perilous journey, and the delegation delves into those in their report. But simply put, these children are fleeing violence: generalized violence at both the state and local levels, which has led to a breakdown of the rule of law and created a culture of fear and hopelessness.
The delegation was led by Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, and included Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC); Reverend Daniel Groody, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, and consultant to the USCCB Committee on Migration; Jane Bloom, Director, Washington Office of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC); Kristyn Peck, Associate Director of Children’s Services, MRS/USCCB; Ashley Feasley, Immigration Policy Advisor, MRS/ USCCB; and Kevin Appleby, Director of Migration Policy and Public Affairs, MRS/USCCB.
Here are the full findings and recommendations.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has published its annual report on migration, World Migration Report, 2013: Migrant Well-being and Development. This comprehensive look at migration patterns and the well being of migrants is available as a PDF download from the IOM website. It is available in English, French and Spanish.
According to the IOM website, “Many reports linking migration and development concentrate on the broad socioeconomic consequences of migratory processes, and the impact of migration on the lives of individuals can easily be overlooked. In contrast, the WMR 2013 focuses on migrants as persons, exploring how migration affects quality of life and human development across a broad range of dimensions.”
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