USA National Migration Week – Jan 2-8

USCCB

About National Migration Week

Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice is the primary theme for the 2011 National Migration Week, held January 2-8. The observance began over a quarter century ago by the bishops to provide Catholics an opportunity to take stock of the wide diversity of the Church and the ministries serving them. As the face of the local churches continue to change, these materials are becoming increasingly important. The materials created for National Migration Week also provide an important educational resource that can be used throughout the year by individuals, families, schools, and parishes to learn about the complex issues surrounding migration.

Following the lead of Pope Benedict XVI, who is focusing on migrant families for his 2011 World Day of Migrants and Refugees message, the bishops have decided to focus on the family as a sub-theme this year. Included in this year’s new material is a poster, a prayer card, and a bulletin insert that focuses on the stresses and strains that migration has on families and the affect that economic underdevelopment has in this process. In coordination with The Catholic University of America, a new educational website will focus on the important role that the Catholic Church has played in the area of refugee resettlement for nearly seven decades.  In addition, you can always find material from past years and new material that we will add over the coming months.  We hope that these resources will provide help to teachers, directors of religious education and others interested in this issue.

Prayers for Migrants & Refugees

Loving Father,
in your infinite compassion,
we seek your divine protection for refugee children who are often alone and afraid.
Provide solace to those who have been witnesses to violence and destruction,
who have lost parents, family, friends, home, and all they cherish due to war or persecution.
Comfort them in their sorrow, and bring help in their time of need.

Show mercy to unaccompanied migrant children, too, Lord.
Reunite them with their families and loved ones.
Guide those children who are strangers in a foreign land to a place of peace and safety.
Comfort them in their sorrow, and bring help in their time of need.

Show us how we might reach out to these precious and vulnerable children.
Open our hearts to migrant and refugee children in need,
so that we might see in them your own migrant Son.
Give us courage to stand up in their defense against those who would do them harm.

For this we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.