WelCom June/July 2021
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops ask us to mark a Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants on 20 June 2021. This date is celebrated as World Refugee Day around the world.
For the Catholic Church in New Zealand, a Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants is set aside each year on the Sunday nearest to World Refugee Day on 20 June. The day is an opportunity for parishes to pray for refugees and migrants everywhere and reflect on the challenges they face.
In his message for the global church for the 2021 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which is held each year in September, Pope Francis highlights the importance of inclusiveness and fraternity, stressing that an ever wider ‘we’ will help renew the human family, build a future of justice and peace, and ensure that no one is left behind. (tinyurl.com/Pope-MessageRefugees-Migrants)
This year’s theme is from the Holy See’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees resources last September. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand’s resources centre on the theme ‘Forced like Jesus Christ to flee’ and reflect on the Holy Family as displaced persons who fled for Egypt in Jesus’ early life.
On the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as patron of the universal Church, Pope Francis declared the Year of Saint Joseph. In his apostolic letter, Patris Corde, Pope Francis regards St Joseph as ‘the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty.’ The Caritas resources will also celebrate St Joseph’s patronage.
Caritas resources for the Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants will be distributed to parishes and will be online at caritas.org.nz/parishes/day-of-prayer by early June.