Message for International Migrants Day

December 18 is a special day as we recognize International Migrants Day. It is an opportunity to better understand the needs of today’s immigrants, and to rid ourselves of our prejudices.

It is a day to become aware of the contribution of immigrants in the economic, cultural, social and ecclesial fields.

Migration is an inescapable reality. While most international migration is motivated by economic reasons – conflict, violence, persecution, political repression and other serious human rights violations are among the main causes of displacement of these persons.

Many left very difficult conditions of war, violence, lack of human rights or even access to basic education, food or water; and they did everything they could to come to a new land.

In November, we installed at Saint Joseph’s Oratory Angels Unawares, a magnificent sculpture by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz, on the themes of immigration and refugees. Every time we look at its detail and its beauty, we are called to pray for all those who risk their lives across the world as they seek a better and safer life.
May the lives of all immigrants and refugees be blessed.

May we be peacemakers in welcoming them, and do what we can to recognize the goodness in everyone – and continue to create this dynamic fabric of cultures that connect us all as sisters and brothers of the world.

Let us continue to pray for their well-being and safety. And may “the Lord watch over their coming and going both now and forever” (Ps 121.8) And God bless each of you!

The United Nations (UN) proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants Day to recognize the contributions of migrants around the world and to acknowledge everything migrant workers do to help the economies of their host communities.