In a homily to mark the World Day for Migrants and Refugees, 18 January, Bishop Patrick Lynch has appealed to the UK and European governments to find a way to receive people who are refugees – especially unaccompanied children who are forced to “leave their homes and their country because of violence, war or persecution.”
The Catholic Bishop for Migrants highlights the “lack of awareness about the reality of modern day slavery and the practical help that is available especially to victims.”
Present in the congregation was the new Anti Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland who said in advance of the day:
“World Day for Migrants and Refugees is an occasion that should prompt solemn reflection on modern slavery. There is no typical modern slave but perpetrators of this crime frequently target those who are socially isolated and marginalised. Vulnerable migrants, and particularly unaccompanied minors, all too often become ensnared by organised criminals into exploitation and slavery.”
Mass for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees was celebrated by Bishop Patrick Lynch at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark on Sunday 18 January at 3pm.
The day coincided with the Feast of Santo Nino – a special day for the Filipino community – on the same day that Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the city of Manila.
Bishop Lynch concluded his homily by giving thanks “for the wonderful contribution that Filipino migrants and indeed migrants from many other countries have made to our parishes and schools, our hospitals and care homes, our local communities and indeed the country.”