Pope Francis Launches a Global Campaign to Help Migrants and Refugees
Pope Francis has loudly and clearly welcomed migrants, refugees and asylum seekers while expressing his support and gratitude for the Caritas Internationalis’ “Share the Journey” campaign.
Speaking during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, the Pope also had special words of welcome for Caritas representatives gathered to officially launch the two-year campaign aimed at activism and awareness-raising about the plight of migrants,
The campaign encourages people to actually meet with migrants and listen to their stories, rather than treat them as mere numbers and statistics imbued with negative stereotypes.
Opening his arms wide in a powerfully symbolic gesture, Francis said, “Christ urges us to welcome our brothers and sisters with our arms truly open, ready for a sincere embrace, a loving and enveloping embrace”.
And pointing to the beautiful Bernini colonnade that encircles St. Peter’s Square, he said our embrace of migrants should mimic the colonnade “which represents mother Church who embraces everyone by sharing in our common journey”.
The Pope thanked Caritas members and other Church organizations for their constant commitment in favor of migrants saying that they are the sign of an “open, inclusive and welcoming Church.”
The campaign launched on Wednesday aims to challenge negative myths and perceptions regarding migrants through websites featuring the stories of individuals, the true impact of immigration and explanations of Church teaching on the culture of encounter.
Caritas Internationalis is asking Catholics to take public action in support of migrants, posting pro-immigrant messages on social media and participating in programs where they can meet migrants and refugees.
In his greetings to all those who work to support and advocate for migrants and refugees the Pope also welcomed a petition which is vying for new legislation on migration “which is more pertinent to the current context”.
After the Audience Pope Francis personally greeted a group of some 50 refugees who were in the Square for the occasion. (from Vatican Radio)
Sharing in the Journey
Pope Francis is being joined by bishops across the U.S. and around the world in launching a global campus to support our brothers and sisters who have fled their homes seeking a decent and safe life for their families. This historic campaign, “Share the Journey” will respond to some of the most desperate of God’s children.
You can help your diocese, parish, school or other affiliate organization participate in the “Share the Journey” campaign along with Pope Francis, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA and the Church’s global charitable network, Caritas Internationalis. Through prayers and acts of compassion and support, you can help shape conversations and actions to answer the Gospel call to love our neighbors.
September 27: The office launch in Rome by Pope Francis.
October 7 – 13: Week of Prayer and Action across the U.S.
To learn more please visit: http://www.caritas.org/2017/09/media-advisory-pope-francis-will-launch-caritas-share-the-journey