The following is a message from Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns who is Chair of the Council for Immigrants of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
As we celebrate the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on 29th September 2019, our first thoughts and prayers are with our migrant brothers and sisters who live here among us in Ireland, in our dioceses, our parishes and most especially those in direct provision centres in our country. In his message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees for 2019, Pope Francis invites us to discern our outlook and actions with regard to this most important topic as ‘the presence of migrants and refugees – and of vulnerable people in general – is an invitation to recover some of those essential dimensions of our Christian existence and our humanity that risk being overlooked in a prosperous society. That is why it is not just about migrants. When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays’.
In a very simple phrase, a clarion call to us Christians who live in societies which ‘are witnessing a growing trend towards extreme individualism... producing a “globalization of indifference”,’ the Holy Father again asks us to adopt a decided stance and course of action summed up in four simple verbs - ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate.’
Please join with Pope Francis and the Council for Immigrants of the Irish Episcopal Conference in drawing attention to the call of Pope Francis to welcome migrants and refugees into our dioceses and parishes.
If the Council for Immigration can be of any assistance to you in your ministry, please contact our offices at the Columba Centre, Maynooth. We also encourage you to visit our website: www.catholicbishops.ie/immigrants.
Litany – It is not just about migrants
It is not just about migrants: it is also about our fears and hurts. It is not just about migrants: it is about charity and compassion. It is not just about migrants: it is about our humanity. It is not just about migrants: it is a question of seeing that no one is abandoned or excluded. It is not just about migrants: it is about putting the last in first place. It is not just about migrants: it is about the whole person, about all people. It is not just about migrants: it is about building the city of God.
Litany based on the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer for Migrants and Refugees 2019.
Irish Blessing for those Who are Forced to Leave Home
The love and affection of the angels be to you, The love and affection of the saints be to you, The love and affection of heaven be to you, To guard and to cherish you. May God shield you on every step, May he aid you on every path, And may he hold you safe on every slope, On every hill and on every plain; On earth and on sea until it is safe to go home again. Click below to listen to an audio version of this blessing.