USCCB News Release
November 24, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Migration Week to be Celebrated January 4-10
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Migration Week on January 4-10, 2009.
This year's theme, Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice, "reminds us of our obligation to bring hope to the hopeless and to seek justice for those who are easily exploited," said Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, in a letter sent every parish and Catholic school across the country.
"For many migrant communities, injustice and hardship are too commonplace an experience. Given the often marginal and vulnerable status of migrants, it is important that communities everywhere treat migrants justly and provide a welcoming presence to all people on the move," said Bishop Wester.
This year national migration week sheds light on the religious, political and cultural aspects of migration in all its forms. The bishops hope the resources the USCCB has made available will help Catholics become familiar with the many issues surrounding migration.
"As the face of local churches continues to change, information of this kind is becoming more and more important. Individuals, families, schools and parishes need opportunities like National Migration Week to learn the realities about newcomers entering their communities," said Todd Scribner, education coordinator for the Migration and Refugee Services of the USCCB.
Last April, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the Bishops of the United States to continue to act in this regard.
"I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials, and to help them flourish in their new home," said the pope.
The materials include several bulletin inserts that address issues related to human trafficking, immigration, refugees, and Catholic social teaching on migration; information on how to acquire the revise edition of Unity in Diversity: A Scriptural Rosary, to guide spiritual reflection on migration; and a foldout poster. Several of these resources are available also in Spanish.More information, including how to order materials, can be found at http://www.usccb.org/mrs/nmw.shtml.