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In the Gospel of Matthew (25:35) tells his disciples, "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me." The call to welcome the stranger plays an important role in the lives of faithful Christians and has a particularly central place for those of us who work in the migration field. The migrant, who moves from one country to another is truly a stranger in the midst. Often unfamiliar with the local tongue of the new country, not to mention its customs, the migrant needs the support of local communities so that she can better adjust to her new surroundings. National Migration Week 2016 picks up on the theme of welcome and, in doing so, calls on each of us to welcome the stranger among us.
Bilingual Prayer Card: Please feel free to download and distribute this prayer card, which highlights many of the difficulties that migrants face in their daily lives, the struggles they face in migration process, and their need for God's protection.
European Refugee Crisis: More than four million refugees have fled Syria and the surrounding region since 2010, with most taking shelter in surrounding countries. Many thousands have died in the process; countless others struggle with the daily ritual of just trying to survive. Learn more about what the bishops are doing to address this problem and how you can help.
Unlocking Human Dignity, Detention Report: Please take an opportunity to read the recently released report by the USCCB and the Center for Migration Studies, which highlights the inequities at play in the migrant detention system and suggestions to make it more just and respectful of human dignity.
We are happy to announce as a part of this celebration a small grant program that will provide resources to launch outreach or educational efforts on the local level to welcome the stranger. Please take a moment to read the guidelines for this small grant and consider applying. It is only with the help of local organizations that we can fulfill our mission to welcome the stranger and provide new lives to vulnerable populations.
For any questions that you might have related to National Migration Week, please contact Todd Scribner at TScribner@usccb.org
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