(Vatican Radio) The Catholic Church in the United States is preparing to celebrate “National Migration Week” at the beginning of the year as it has done for the past 50 years or so.
The event, scheduled to take place from 8 to 14 January 2017, is presented as “an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking”.
The theme, “Creating a Culture of Encounter” has been chosen to highlight Pope Francis' reiterated appeal to create a culture of encounter, and “in doing so to look beyond our own needs and wants to those of others around us”.
The USCCB website cites the Pope’s homily for his first Pentecost as Pope saying that he immediately emphasized the importance of encounter in the Christian faith: "For me this word is very important. Encounter with others. Why? Because faith is an encounter with Jesus, and we must do what Jesus does: encounter others."
The US Bishops point out that “with respect to migrants, too often in our contemporary culture we fail to encounter them as persons, and instead look at them as others. We do not take the time to engage migrants in a meaningful way, but remain aloof to their presence and suspicious of their intentions. During this National Migration Week, let us all take the opportunity to engage migrants as children of God who are worthy of our attention and support”.
You can participate in “National Migration Week” with a series of prayer resources and other tools by clicking here.