USCCB News Release
December 3, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Migration Week, January 3-9, to Focus on Migrant and Refugee Children
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Migration Week on January 3-9, 2010. The theme this year will again be “Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice,” although the focus will be migrant and refugee children, following the lead of the Pope Benedict XVI, who has chosen the theme “Minor Migrants and Refugees” for the 2010 World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
“Children are an exceptionally vulnerable population that are easily taken advantage of, exploited and abused. This is particularly true when they are undocumented and unaccompanied in a foreign country and, all too often, with nobody to turn to for help,” said Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration.
In addition to traditional types of material, including bulletin inserts, prayer cards and an Advent booklet—all three available in English and Spanish—the Committee on Migration has launched other exciting initiatives in anticipation of the 2010 National Migration Week. In coordination with The Catholic University of America, a new educational Website will launch later in December (to be hosted at http://libraries.cua.edu/achrcua/packets.html) and will focus on the important role that the Catholic Church has played in the immigration debate throughout Twentieth Century America. “We hope that this will be a great resource for teachers, directors of religious education and others interested in this issue,” said Bishop Wester.
A small grants program is also being developed to provide seed money to parishes, schools, and local Catholic organizations who want to launch a project or program related to migration.
Among other events to celebrate National Migration Week 2010, on January 6, at 12:30 p.m., Mercy Sister Marilyn Lacey, author of This Flowing Toward Me, will do a presentation for USCCB employees and others on her experience with refugee communities at the Catholic Bishops’ headquarters in Washington (3211 4th Street NE). Media interested in attending the presentation may contact Mar Muñoz-Visoso at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-541-3202.
Information and materials for National Migration Week 2010 can be found at http://www.usccb.org/mrs/nmw/index.shtml. Printed copies of the bulletin inserts and prayer cards, as well as a variety of other materials can also be ordered from the USCCB Publishing Office at 1-800-235-8722 or through their Website at www.usccbpublishing.org.
Keywords: National Migration Week, immigrants, refugees, Bishop John C. Wester, USCCB, U.S. Catholic Bishops