“As Dehonians we see migration as the greatest challenge of our times”
-Fr. Heiner Wilmer in his 2016 letter for the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Monday, June 20, is World Refugee Day. It is a moment that not only highlights the courage, perseverance and resilience shown by refugees in overcoming enormous odds to rebuild their lives but also calls each one of us to do whatever we can, wherever we are, to recognize one another as sisters and brothers
Drawing on Pope Francis’s theme of the “Year of Mercy” in which he challenges us to make this a time to overcome our indifference to the needs of others, the SCJ North American Immigration Committee created a prayer service to help us reflect on the plight of refugees.
“Biblical revelation urges us to welcome the stranger; it tells us that in so doing, we open our doors to God, and that in the faces of others we see the face of Christ himself,” wrote Pope Francis in his message for World Refugee Day. “ Many groups are experiencing the wonder and joy of the feast of encounter, sharing and solidarity. They have heard the voice of Jesus Christ: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock’ (Rev 3:20).
In his letter for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Fr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ, superior general, wrote that “As Dehonians we see migration as the greatest challenge of our times. In our parishes, schools, universities, in education and formation institutes, in our social works, in whatever areas that we have influence on public opinion, for example, in our media outlets and publications, let us make migration our theme. We are convinced that every confrere can do something. Every community has an opportunity to do something creative. Every institution and every work can contribute in some particular manner to the demands and needs that result from migration. At the same time, in every community where we live, in every institution where we work, we can make evident the opportunities and benefits that arise from migration.”
Click here to download of PDF of the prayer service for World Refugee Day (June 20).