It is always marvelous to enjoy a quality vacation in beautiful settings and to spend time with family and friends but it is also wonderful to return home and to appreciate once again what we take for granted all year long – the familiar bed and pillow, the sounds and sights of everyday life, a place for everything and everything in its place.
That return also means doing the mundane chores of everyday life, stocking up on groceries, tacking a big pile of snail mail, answering email correspondence that accumultated during two days of travel and, most importantly, re-setting one’s mental gears to work mode! That may be far more difficult that dusting, doing laundry or shopping!
I always keep up with news about the Vatican and the Pope while on vacation but not with the same depth and intensity than I do when sitting at my desk here. That will change tomorrow, as you can see from today’s stories.
To those of you also returning from vacation, welcome back!
To those of you still on vacation – the rest of us are jealous!
CARITAS INSTITUTES MIGRATION AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Pope Francis Wednesday will launch Caritas Internationalis‘ “Share the Journey” migration campaign, a two-year campaign of action and awareness-raising that to promote the strengthening of relationships between migrants, refugees and communities. This campaign is Caritas’response to Pope Francis’ calls to promote the ‘culture of encounter’ to see people on the move with humanity, to open hearts and minds, to change perceptions. (photo: news.va)
Caritas Internationalis, says a CI communiqué, “will shine light on the challenges and effects of migration at all points on the journey, while harnessing the strength of its more than 160 global members to campaign for a shift in thinking. The campaign will be bolstered by support from ACT Alliance, a network of 145 Christian agencies worldwide and a variety of other religious congregations and civil society groups.”
The press release notes that Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis is himself the descendent of a child migrant. The cardinal told CI that, “Through ‘Share the Journey’ we’re making a simple suggestion to people: get in touch with a real migrant. Look them in the eyes, listen to why they left their homes, how their journey’s been, see the real people behind the numbers and scare stories.
“This time of greater interconnection is an invitation to each and every one of us to look at how we can be more united. I hope the global migration and refugee situation will lead the whole world in a corporate examination of consciousness and our value systems.”
Caritas supporters will launch actions in their countries and communities around the world as part of “Share the Journey.”
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Michel Roy believes change has to come from individuals and governments. “Share the Journey is an opportunity to replace prejudice with tolerance. Caritas is challenging the rise in indifference and rejection, often consequences of the rise of individualism and societies that see people only as consumers, depriving them of their profound humanity.”
“The world is a better place when migrants are understood, welcomed and integrated. Not forced into modern slavery by people traffickers, poorly protected by weak laws and a lack of will and compassion.”
POPE FRANCIS TO LAUNCH CARITAS’ “SHARE THE JOURNEY” CAMPAIGN
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is set, this week, to launch a global campaign on migration.
Entitled “Share the Journey,” the two-year Caritas Internationalis campaign aims to promote the strengthening of relationships between migrants, refugees and communities.
It is Caritas’ response to Pope Francis’ call for a culture of encounter and to see people on the move with open hearts and minds.
The campaign will be launched Wednesday in the Vatican and by all members of the Caritas family across the globe.
Caritas Internationalis President, Cardinal Luis Tagle told Vatican Radio’s Alessandro Gisotti that the campaign is asking people to see the real people behind the numbers and statistics.
Cardinal Tagle explains that the primary objective of the campaign is to ‘return to the Bible’, to the spirituality of the Word of God “where God always had a soft spot in his heart for the most vulnerable” and amongst the most vulnerable are the migrants, the foreigners.
“Jesus himself identifies his presence with that of the stranger: ‘when I was a stranger you visited me’, Tagle recalls.
So, what is important with this campaign, he says, is to remind the Christian world – and all of humanity – of this important message.
The cardinal points out that the campaign of action and awareness-raising will promote the social teaching of the Church and it will put “a human face” on migrants who are often seen as mere numbers and statistics.
It embraces the call and the words of Pope Francis “to welcome, to protect, to promote the integral human development and to integrate” forced migrants and refugees.
“Through this campaign we hope to correct some negative myths about migrants and migration and also to address some of the roots of forced migration” as well as influence the global compact to make migration safe for people, Tagle says.
Pointing out that migration has always been part of human history, Tagle says recent trends force us to look at the causes of forced migration, to be aware of the violence to which many are subjected and of the new forms of slavery that have stemmed from the phenomenon.
Especially concerning, he says, is the vulnerability of young people.
“If we do not address this humanitarian crisis with the help of all governments and communities we will see generations of people with their hopes of a future destroyed” he says.
What the Church and Caritas are asking for – Cardinal Tagle explains – is a change of mentality, “a conversion”.
Cardinal Tagle’s video invitation to Share the Journey; https://youtu.be/z7GOduLAWSM
Instead of demonizing migrants and building walls, we must create the basis for a culture of encounter which will ultimately destroy the walls of prejudice.