The Catholic Church in England and Wales has greatly benefited from the “faith and witness” of migrant communities not only in our present day, but down the years, according to the lead Bishop for Migration.
In a statement released to coincide with the World Day for Migrants and Refugees celebrated on Sunday 15 January, Bishop Patrick Lynch said that parishes have been greatly enriched by “the strong sense of community and commitment to family life within many of our migrant communities, by their love for the Scriptures, by their devotion to Our Lady and especially by their joyful participation in the celebration of the Eucharist.”
The Bishop gave thanks for the faith, commitment, witness and devotional life of migrant communities:
“So we pray in thanksgiving for all the migrant communities who down through they years have enriched the Church here in England and Wales by their faith and their faithfulness, by their commitment and their witness and by their devotion and devotions.”
In recent years, Catholic Churches in England and Wales, particularly in urban areas, have seen a growing number of parishioners from Africa and Asia, from Eastern and Western Europe, from the islands of the Caribbean and more recently from South America.
Bishop Patrick Lynch will concelebrate Mass with Archbishop Peter Smith at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark at 15.30 pm on Sunday 15 January to mark the World Day for Migrants and Refugees. This Mass, organised by The Scalabrini Fathers for the Filipino community, additionally celebrates the Feast of Sto. Nino. Over a thousand people are expected to attend from various Filipino communities across London and the South East. The Filipino ambassador, his Secretary and representatives from the Philippine embassy will also be in attendance.
Bishop Lynch will also celebrate Mass at Sacred Heart of Jesus parish, Camberwell at 11.00 on that day.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Programme for Sto.Nino/World Day for Migrants and Refugees celebration at St George’s Cathedral Southwark.
Novena Prayer for Sto. Nino, followed by Benediction.
Sinulog Dance, carrying the images of Sto. Nino.
Mass celebrated by Archbishop Peter Smith. Bishop Patrick Lynch will concelebrate the Mass, together with Canon John O’Toole, Dean of the Cathedral, The Scalabrini Fathers and Filipino priests.
Reception at Amigo Hall and presentations. 1,000 Filipino dinners are being prepared for the celebration.