As we spring into a bright new decade of possibility in 2020, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a recent statement reminding us to stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. National Migration Week is observed January 5-11, 2020 and the theme this year is “Promoting a Church and a World for All” which invites us to welcome all immigrants and refugees into our community. Pope Francis has challenged us to move away from a “culture of indifference,” and now more than ever we have an opportunity for people of all cultures to unite and care for one another.
Some of these people are already our neighbors and some desperately want to be our neighbors. It is almost impossible in today’s world not to see what is going on in the lives of people seeking refuge. From the photos in the newspaper, petitions on social media, to videos on the news, to the new family down the street. National Migration Week reminds us that everyone that is seen as other wants the same thing as we do: a safe place to call home.
At Catholic Charities, we are guided by the tenants of Catholic Social Teaching:
When we call these teachings to action, it seems only logical that we would want to welcome immigrants and refugees into our lives in a compassionate way. Of course we believe in treating everyone with dignity! Of course we want everyone to feel cared for and included! These are things we teach our children on the playground. We are called to serve the vulnerable and treat others with love, which is the foundation of our faith.
So how can you get involved in our little corner of the world? Find out more about Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services and Catholic Charities Immigration Law Clinic at Gonzaga Law School. Visit www.justiceforimmigrants.org sponsored by the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services to learn how you can be an advocate for immigrants and refugees. More than anything during this National Migration Week, keep Pope Francis’ challenge in mind and fight against indifference with open hearts. No matter where we come from, everyone deserves dignity and the opportunity to thrive.