National Migration Week
January 8 – 14, 2017
The observance of National Migration Week was begun over a quarter century ago by the U.S. bishops to provide Catholics an opportunity to take stock of the wide diversity of peoples in the Church and the ministries serving them. As the face of the local church continues to change, educational materials produced for National Migration Week have become increasingly important. They can be used throughout the year by individuals, families, schools and parishes to learn about the complex issues surrounding migration. The 2017 NMW theme is “Creating a Culture of Encounter." The theme for National Migration Week 2017 draws attention to Pope Francis' call to create a culture of encounter, and in doing so to look beyond our own needs and wants to those of others around us. In the homily given at his first Pentecost as pope, he emphasized the importance of encounter in the Christian faith: "For me this word is very important. Encounter with others. Why? Because faith is an encounter with Jesus, and we must do what Jesus does: encounter others."
World Refugee Day
June 20, 2017
On Tuesday, June 20th, people all around the world will celebrate World Refugee Day. According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is one who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." The Catholic Church has for decades taken seriously the plight of these vulnerable refugees and through advocacy, education efforts, and service provision sought to provide increased protections for them.
On Monday, June 19th, USCCB/MRS will celebrate World Refugee Day as we host an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. More information on speakers for this event will be announced shortly.