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Pope proposal: For World Refugee Day, have lunch with a migrant

©Andrea Bonetti / PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE / AFP
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"Create new spaces for sharing ... Celebrate all that unites us!"

Pope Francis has an idea, especially appropriate for World Refugee Day on June 20.

“I wish to encourage you to continue your journey with migrants and refugees, and to share a meal with them, like the one organized here by Caritas.”

The pope offered this proposal in a message today, in the context of the “Share the Journey” campaign launched last year by the Church’s global charity network.

The Holy Father has supported the initiative from the start.

“Today, I would like to invite you all – migrants, refugees, Caritas workers and institutions – to identify the traits of this journey that have had the most impact on you: what hope inspires your path? Try to share this thought and to ‘celebrate’ what we have in common,” he said.

The Bishop of Rome said he wishes to encourage everyone “always to create new spaces for sharing, so that from our encounters a renewed fraternity with migrants and refugees may emerge.”

He finished by wishing those sharing the meal “a good lunch.”

The Caritas lunch, organized as part of a Week of Global Action around UN World Refugee Day which is marked each year on June 20, saw the participation of some 100 migrants and refugees together with the heads of Caritas organizations in Rome as well as ecclesial and civil authorities.

The pope’s message was read out during the lunch by Fr Enrico Feroci, Director of Caritas Rome.

4 Verbs

To welcome, to protect, to promote, to integrate are the four verbs chosen by Pope Francis as he called for action in his Message released for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees marked in the Vatican on January 14.

These verbs were also at the core of all testimonies and speeches at Tuesday’s event which wrapped up with the testimony of an Italian family that spoke of how it was enriched by welcoming a young boy from Nigeria as part of the family.

Join in

You can participate in the “Share the Journey” Global Week of Action by taking part in one of the many events and initiatives set up by Caritas organizations across the globe.

What Caritas wants with this week of action and with the campaign, Caritas president Michel Roy said, “is to help humanity: This globalized world means an increased circulation of people and of goods, and this is not going to change.”

“As Catholics we are happy about this because we are one human family,” he said. “So the Global Week of Action is an opportunity offered to all to make encounter happen and to make hearts, and eyes and minds change for the better.”

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