Bishop Patrick Lynch, Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark and the Catholic Church’s lead bishop on migration, offers this message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. It is celebrated this year on Sunday, 13 January 2013.
In his recent message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, our Holy Father affirmed the faith of migrants saying:
‘During their journey many migrants are sustained by the deep trust that God never abandons his children: this certainly makes the pain of uprooting and separation more tolerable and gives them the hope of eventually returning to their country of origin. Faith and hope are often among the possessions which emigrants carry with them, knowing that with them they can face the present and the future.’
The Catholic Church here in England and Wales is being continually enriched by the vibrant faith of immigrants from all over the world. In the past it was by immigrants from Ireland, Italy, the Caribbean and Poland.
Now our Church and our faith is being enriched by immigrants from all over the world:
by the joyful sense of celebration of our sisters and brothers from Africa,
by the deep sense of prayer and contemplation of our sisters and brothers from Asia,
by the strong devotion to Our Lady of our sisters and brothers from Latin America,
and by sense of dedication and steadfastness of our sisters and brothers from Eastern Europe.
We thank you for the ways you strengthen our faith and enrich our Church. Pope Benedict concludes his message by saying ‘Rejoice for the Lord is near, and with him you will be able to overcome obstacles and difficulties, treasuring the experiences of openness and acceptance that many people offer you.’ My prayer, therefore, on this Day of Migrants and Refugees is that the Lord will deepen your faith and help you to share your faith so through you the Lord will help all of us to always to look back with gratitude, look forward in hope and look out with compassion.
With every good wish and blessing for this coming year,
Bishop Patrick Lynch SS.CC.
Chair, Office for Migration Policy
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
You can download the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees by using the link in the top right-hand corner of this page.