Vatican asks Catholics to share their experiences of helping migrants and refugees

Vatican asks Catholics to share their experiences of helping migrants and refugees

Pope Francis visits the Mavrovouni refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on Dec. 5, 2021. VATICAN MEDIA

By Courtney Mares

Catholic News Agency

July 29, 2022

The Vatican is asking Catholics around the world to share their experiences of welcoming migrants and refugees.

In a video message released on July 28 ahead of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis poses the question: “How can we foster an enriching encounter with migrants and refugees?”

The Vatican’s migrants and refugees office in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has requested that people send in their responses to that question with a short video, written reflection, or photos to media@migrants-refugees.va.

The pope’s video highlighted the testimony of a Catholic family in France who has welcomed refugees from Nigeria, Iran, and Albania into their home.

“There was an announcement made at the end of Mass inviting people to offer hospitality to asylum seekers,” said Bertrand Gorge, a father from Roquefort-Les-Pins, France.

“It made me ask myself, ‘If we do not welcome migrants, who will?'”

Gorge said that the experience has been very enriching for his family and that they have learned a lot about other cultures and what is happening in different parts of the world.

“For our children, each time has been an absolutely amazing encounter,” he said.

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees was established by Pope Pius X in 1914. It is celebrated annually on the last Sunday in September. This year it falls on Sept. 25.

Pope Francis has already released a 1,200-word message for the 108th World Migrant and Refugee Day with the theme “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees.”

“Migrants and refugees offer us a great opportunity for the cultural and spiritual growth of all of us,” the pope said in his latest video message.

“For this reason, it is essential to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue and to build the future on common values.”

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