Migration has enriched Catholic communities: Pope

Pope Francis visits a reception centre for asylum-seekers in Castelnuovo di Porto, Italy in 2016 (Vatican Media)

Migrants and refugees have “enormous potential” to help society if they are given a chance, Pope Francis says in his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Source: CNA.

In his message, issued yesterday, the Pope said history showed that new arrivals played a “fundamental role” in social and economic growth.

“This continues to be true in our own day. Their work, their youth, their enthusiasm, and their willingness to sacrifice enrich the communities that receive them,” he wrote.

“Yet this contribution could be all the greater were it optimised and supported by carefully developed programs and initiatives. Enormous potential exists, ready to be harnessed, if only it is given a chance.”

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees, instituted in 1914 by Pope Pius X, is celebrated annually on the last Sunday in September. This year it falls on September 25.

The theme of the 108th World Migrant and Refugee Day is “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees”.

In his 1200-word message, the Pope described the presence of migrants and refugees as both “a great challenge” and “an immense opportunity.”

He noted that migration had enriched Catholic communities around the world.

“As we have seen, the arrival of Catholic migrants and refugees can energise the ecclesial life of the communities that welcome them,” he said. “Often they bring an enthusiasm that can revitalise our communities and enliven our celebrations.”

“Sharing different expressions of faith and devotions offers us a privileged opportunity for experiencing more fully the catholicity of the People of God.”

Pope Francis closed message with an appeal to young people to “build the future” together with migrants and refugees.

FULL STORY

Pope Francis: Migrants and refugees have ‘enormous potential’ to help society (CNA) 

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