BUILDING THE FUTURE WITH MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES


Since 1914 the Universal Church has been celebrating World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) a few months before the outbreak of World War I. Pope Pius X (a Pope 1903-1914) invited Christians to pray for migrants and refugees after millions of Italians had migrated abroad. In 1985, Saint John Paul II was the first Pontiff to release a yearly message for the WDMR and initiate the Church to pray ceaselessly for migrants and refugees, that they overcome the harsh realities and difficulties they face daily.


The WDMR was initially celebrated on the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany. Pope Francis has shifted this annual celebration from January to the last Sunday of every September. This year the 108th anniversary of WDMR falls on Sunday, 25 September 2022 with the theme entitled: “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees.” The Church invites us to pray for these migrants and refugees “as they face various kinds of challenges,” and “to increase awareness about the opportunities that migrants offer.”


We as a Church should pay attention to and support migrants and refugees who have left or been forced to flee their homes for many reasons. The Holy Father called us “to renew our commitment to building a future that conforms ever more fully to God’s plan of a world in which everyone can live in peace and dignity.”


Righteousness and justice are very important virtues and values that need to be cultivated in the present world as a part of our contribution towards building the future for migrants and refugees. The presence of migrants and refugees in our community creates “a great challenge” and “an immense opportunity” for us to grow culturally and spiritually. “Their work, their youth, their enthusiasm and their willingness to sacrifice, enrich” the growth of the social and economy of our society today and in the future.


This year as we celebrate the WDMR, we take every effort to revitalise and cheer our celebrations with them as we “share our different expressions of faith and devotions” as people of God. It may open an opportunity “in our common humanity and build together an ever-greater sense of togetherness” for the future of the Kingdom of justice, fraternity and peace that is yet to come.

Let us build our future today! The future begins today and it begins in each one of us.

PRAYER FOR THE 108TH WDMR:


Lord, make us bearers of hope,

Go that where there is darkness,

Your light may shine,

And where there is discouragement,

Confidence in the future may be reborn.


Lord, make us instruments of your justice,

so that where there is exclusion, fraternity may flourish,

and where there is greed, a spirit of sharing may grow.


Lord, make us builders of your kingdom,

together with migrants and refugees

and with all who dwell on the peripheries.


Lord, let us learn how beautiful it is

to live together as brothers and sisters. Amen.


(AN EXTRACT OF THE MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS FOR THE WDMR 20220)



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