By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Pope Francis gave a special greeting at the Angelus prayer on Sunday to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and participants in a global pilgrimage expressing solidarity with migrants and refugees.
"You've just completed a short pilgrimage within Rome," the Pope said, "to express your desire to walk together and thus learn to know each other better."
The Holy Father encouraged the "Share the Journey" initiative, and said it "can transform our relationship with migrants."
Cardinal Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis, officially launched the global pilgrimage portion of the Share the Journey campaign on Sunday by walking together with migrants and refugees. He is asking other communities around the world to opposed hatred and fear by walking together with migrants and refugees for a million kilometers (621,371,192 miles).
Share the Journey campaign
This global pilgrimage is part of the Share the Journey campaign. Initiated in 2017 by Pope Francis, it seeks to bridge the gap between host communities and migrants, promoting a culture of encounter. Providing the vision for the campaign, Pope Francis said:
“Hope is the force that drives us to share the journey, because the journey is made jointly: by those who come to our land, and by us who go towards their heart, to understand them, to understand their culture, their language.”
It just takes one step
Speaking about the global pilgrimage, Cardinal Tagle called it a challenge to “oppose a rhetoric of fear and hate with actions of love, kindness and mercy”.
This is exactly what the Share the Journey campaign proposes. It starts, he says, with “a change in our hearts and in our communities [which] starts with the decision to take one simple step with migrants and refugees”.
The pilgrimage organized in Rome is one of many taking place throughout the world. Similar walks have already been launched by local Caritas branches in Chile, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the US. Others will be launched within the next 6 months.