Message from Bishop John Kirby and Bishop Raymond Field
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and World Migrant and Refugee Sunday, 19 January 2014, it is important that we come together to remember and pray for all those who have travelled far from their homeland in search of a better life.
Pope Francis, who has made the defence of the poor and vulnerable a cornerstone of his papacy, said in a message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees that there should be a change in attitude towards migrants.
He urges countries to welcome and respect migrants and not treat them as “pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.”
A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalisation – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world,” he said in the message.
Here in Ireland, this is a daily reality witnessed in all our parishes, as large numbers of Irish people continue to travel abroad to seek out new opportunities. While their departure creates a void in Irish families and in parish communities, our communities, villages and towns have also become home to thousands of non-Irish residents from all over the world.
We hope this Resource Pack will assist you in raising awareness of the challenges facing migrants and in showing solidarity with those who have been affected by migration, both those leaving our shores in the hope of making a new life for themselves overseas and those joining us to begin their new lives in Ireland.
To access the Resource Pack, please click on the cover below: