Chicagoland participated in a Share the Journey Walk organized by the Cabrini Reteat Center.
Dear brothers and sisters!
“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers inthe land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).
Throughout the first years of my pontificate, I have repeatedly expressed my particular concern for the lamentable
situation of many migrants and refugees fleeing from war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty. This situation is undoubtedly a “sign of the times” which I have tried to interpret, with the help of the Holy Spirit
Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Matthew 25:35-43). The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of
a better future. This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience – from departure through journey to arrival and return. This is a great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities.
In this regard, I wish to reaffirm that “our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”.
To read the entire message of Pope Francis please visit: https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/migration/documents/papa-francesco_20170815_world-migrants-day-2018.html
Observance of National Migration Week in Chicago began with Mass at Holy Name Cathedral celebrated by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich.
The liturgy’s theme, “Many Journeys, One Family,” responds to Pope Francis’ call for Catholics to be involved in the welcome, protection and integration of migrants and refugees worldwide and to stand in solidarity with them in departure, transit, arrival or return.
A number of Cabrini Retreat Center Kairos alumni spent the past week in pilgrimage doing just that at the US/ Mexico border. These college students traveled with the Viatorian Community, along with Fr. Cory Brost, who is the Co-Director of the Viator House of Hospitality, a safe home for young immigrant men seeking asylum in the United States.
Jason Wilhite, a Cabrini Kairos alum participated and reflected on four key themes: Humanize, Accompany, Complicate and Christianize. “The four themes were the lenses through which we were asked to view every experience. We need to understand migration is a complex issue and hearing every voice is the only way to come to common understanding and real change.”
Listening and accompanying those at the border was a rich experience and included conversations with migrants, those ministering at the border as well as border guards. They reflected on the call of Pope Francis as well as many of the issues that impact migration including human trafficking and drug cartels. Jason expressed his gratitude that the Cabrini Retreat Center continues to stay connected and supports the migrant journey.
“We need young people who are alert and searching, trying to respond to God’s dream and to all the restlessness present in the human heart.”
Pope Francis at World Youth Day, July 2016
Thousands of youth each year are challenged to disconnect from phones and computers and become alert to the stirring of the Spirit within. (See the following reflection from Pope Francis.)
Each of the guests of Cabrini Retreat Center has a special prayer companion during their retreat. Sr. Grace Waters, MSC organizes the “Prayer Partner” program that links an individual Missionary Sister with a specific group of teens or adults.
The Retreat Center staff and guests are always grateful for this sharing in the mission. Each group is “introduced” to their Prayer Partner though a bulletin board that displays a photo and name of the Sister – in their welcome, the Hospitality Team names the Sisters to the group.
“The staff and youth minister are privileged to see miracles everyday – hearts touched, lives changed by God’s grace. “Thank you” seems a inadequate to response to our Sister Sponsors and Prayer Partners,” says Retreat Center Director Nancy Golen in the name of the Retreat Center Team.