The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants 2019

A Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants is set aside each year to fall as close as possible to World Refugee Day on 20 June. Caritas prepares resources for this day on behalf of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.

A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And then there will be another “you,” and another “you,” and it turns into an “us.”

Pope Francis, 2017, TED talk

In 2019, the Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants was Sunday 23 June.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis (CI), a global confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies working in over 200 countries and territories. In 2017, Caritas Internationalis launched a global campaign, Share the Journey, to build empathy toward migrants and refugees. “The future is made of us, let’s Share the Journey” is inspired by Pope Francis’ message during his TED talk in 2017.

Pope Francis says that the future of humankind is up to us, not just politicians, leaders or big companies. He emphasises the need for each other. When it comes to refugees and migrants, the ‘other’ is not just a statistic or a number – the ‘other’ has a face. They are a real presence, a person of innate dignity.

As part of the Share the Journey campaign, CI launched a collage at their General Assembly in May 2019. The woman represented in the collage is Nasrin, 21, who works with Rohingya children as part of Caritas Bangladesh’s efforts to provide safe spaces. Nasrin represents the tenacity and tenderness of all the Caritas workers who accompany migrants and refugees. The collage features hundreds of photos of migrants and refugees, world leaders, and Caritas staff. It depicts that despite our differences, we are one humanity.

This Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants, we reflect on how we might better Share the Journey with refugees and migrants around the world.

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust