Breaking Bread to Build Community
Every year Caritas marks Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants – established by the NZ Catholic Bishops—by creating liturgical resources and inviting schools and communities to join us in prayer and reflection. This year, we have also asked communities to join us and Caritas Internationalis in fostering welcoming communities around the world—including here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
For almost a year, Caritas Internationalis (CI) has been running the Share the Journey campaign to encourage a culture of encounter. The campaign aims not only to Share the Journey but to promote an environment of learning and community. Centred around the UN’s World Refugee Day (20 June), CI has declared a Global Week of Action from 17 June through 24 June.
The Global Week of Action is a time to inspire individuals and communities to come together to share their journey through a global series of shared meals and activities.
Caritas Director, Julianne Hickey states, “Advocating for and promoting the wellbeing of refugees and migrants is part of the Caritas mandate; we are looking forward to participating in the Global Week of Action.”
In addition to posting and sharing on social media throughout the week, Caritas hosted a shared meal on Saturday, 23 June inviting members of cultural chaplaincies and religious communities, as well as refugee and migrant families.
Event co-organizer and Caritas staff member, Joanna Viernes shares, “Food is a simple, yet important, way to build community and share stories.”
“This a reminder to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees into our hearts and communities not for a day, or a week, or a year. This is an ongoing process for getting to know our neighbours,” says Mrs Hickey.