The World Day of Migrants and Refugees (Sunday, September 29, 2019) is a special opportunity to focus our attention on the urgent needs of fellow human beings. 

The need to offer hospitality is of particular concern for those of us fortunate enough to remain in the communities we call home. We must begin with the conversion of our own hearts. Do we believe in the dignity of all people, regardless of where they come from? Do we believe that it is our duty, as a matter of faith, to care for the needy, to feed the hungry, and to welcome the stranger? Then we must act, sharing through works of love the graces we have received.

God is inviting us to go deeper. Below are some resources to help us pray, reflect, and ultimately take action in response to the needs of migrants and refugees.

Everything we do on our Ignatian journey ought to begin in prayer. So let us pray: 

Lord Jesus, help us by your grace, 

  • To banish fear from our hearts, that we may embrace each of your children as our own brother and sister;
  • To welcome migrants and refugees with joy and generosity, while responding to their needs;
  • To realize that you call all people to your holy mountain to learn the ways of peace and justice;
  • To share of our abundance as you spread a banquet before us;
  • To give witness to your love for all people, as we celebrate the many gifts they bring. 

We pray that you protect migrants on their journey, and that give them your divine protection and shield them from evil. We ask that you open our hearts so that we may provide hospitality for those who come in search of refuge, so that we might welcome them as one of our own. 

We pray this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

(Prayer card for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees; Vatican Migrants and Refugees Section.)

It's Not Just About Migrants... 

The theme for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees is "it's not just about migrants." 

Pope Francis reminds us that our ability to see and respond to those in need is a deeply spiritual matter. If we fail to see the face of Christ in those who come to us seeking help, we have fallen short in faith and charity. 

Read the Pope's full message...

The Highlights: 

"That is why it is not just about migrants. When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays." 

"It is not just about migrants... is also about our fears. is about our humanity. is question of seeing that no one is excluded. is about putting the last in first place. is about the whole person, about all people. is about building the city of God and man."

Some more learning (in case you're interested):

"I was a stranger and you welcomed me..." Matthew 25:31-46

WEBSITE, Jesuits of the United States and Canada
A new website for education and action around immigration issues. 

Advocacy on Behalf of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Jesuits of the United States and Canada

I took in a Honduran refugee. It was no big deal—really. John Anderson (America)

It's Not Just About Migrants..., Pope Francis 

Virtual Teach-In on Migration, Ignatian Solidarity Network

The Jesuits often invoke this Latin word “magis” — the “more” or the “greater.” The idea is that in all our endeavors we should strive for something greater — the greater good and the greater glory of God. 

God is inviting each of us to greater works of love, to the "most perfect manifestations" of the graces we have received. Each of us must discern the magis in our own lives. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Opportunities to do something greater:

KNOW THEIR STORIES | Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Learn More About Refugees Through Their Stories

Learn more about the experiences of refugees by getting to know them. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA shares stories from some of the refugees that they work with around the world.

Read their stories.

Upholding the Inherent Dignity of Those Seeking Asylum

"As people of faith, we are a light in the darkness. We keep watch, we do not turn away, we unite in prayer and action for those who migrate. Join us in sending a message to Congress." (Ignatian Solidarity Network)

Contact your representatives.

We conclude by giving thanks to God for the graces we have received, reflecting on how God is present to us, and discerning God's invitation to greater works of love. 

  1. I give thanks to God for creation and for being wonderfully made.
  2. I ask God for the grace to see human migration and all of creation as God does – in all its splendor and in its sufferings.
  3. I ask for the grace of conversion towards justice and reconciliation.
  4. I ask for the grace to reconcile my relationship with God, creation, and humanity, and to stand in solidarity through my actions.
  5. I offer a closing prayer for the vulnerable in our society.

(From the "Ignatian Examen on Migration," created by the Ignatian Solidarity Network.)

Welcome! Chapter 1: World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Chapter 2: Season of Creation Chapter 3: The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice Chapter 4: Shelter the Homeless Chapter 5: Walking with the Excluded Chapter 6: Caring for Our Common Home Chapter 7: Racism in America Chapter 8: Human Trafficking Chapter 9: The Salvadoran Martyrs Chapter 10: Blessed Are You Who Are Hungry Now

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