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An initiative in the southern Italian town of Caserta where migrants are involved in a formation course for pizza-makers An initiative in the southern Italian town of Caserta where migrants are involved in a formation course for pizza-makers   (ANSA)

World Day of Migrants and Refugees: ‘It is not just about migrants'

The Migrants and Refugee Section of the Department for Promoting Integral Human Development on Sunday released the theme of the 105th edition of the observance.

By Linda Bordoni

“It is not just about migrants".

That’s the theme for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be celebrated on Sunday, 29 September 2019.  

The theme was announced on Sunday by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

As Fr. Michael Czerny SJ, Under-Secretary of the Section, which is headed by Pope Francis himself, explained, with this  theme,  Pope  Francis  wants  to  highlight  that  his  frequent  appeals  for migrants, refugees, displaced and trafficked people should be understood as integral to  his  deep  concern  for  all  the  inhabitants  of  today’s  existential  peripheries.

Listen to Father Michael Czerny SJ

Fr Czerny explained that observing the Day and the Pope’s message aim to help us realize how deeply we are all involved, “as Christian communities and societies, and that we are all called to respond and to reflect how our faith life and commitments are engaged in responding to vulnerable people on the move”.

Seeing the face of Jesus in migrants and vulnerable people

Fr Czerny said that when the Pope reminds us, repeatedly, of what Jesus himself was saying with the words ‘when I was a stranger you welcomed me’, this is a very direct application of Our Lord’s words”, and that indeed, “when people are knocking at our door because they are seeking protection, shelter and a better future, we are welcoming Him: It’s very simple and very radical”.  

Communication campaign

Fr Czerny also said that in  order  to  foster  a  fuller  and  richer  celebration  of  the  day,  the  Migrants  and Refugees  Section  of  the  Department  for  Promoting  Integral  Human  Development will be launching  a  communication  campaign, during which it will be working with Bishops’ Conferences, Migration Commissions, Catholic organizations involved with migrants and refugees in preparing for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on 29 September.

“So, he concluded, we invite everyone to join us on social media, in reflection on biblical passages and on the teachings of the Holy Father’s and on other resources that will help us to celebrate this day with joy and with understanding”.

03 March 2019, 17:29