Towards An Ever Wider "We"
VATICAN CITY — On May 6, Pope Francis published a message for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will take place on September 27.
He entitled it, “Towards An Ever Wider ‘We,’” based on a phrase from his recent encyclical Fratelli Tutti, in which he said he hoped that after the pandemic, “We will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those,’ but only ‘us.’”
He said his appeal toward an ever wider “we” is “for the sake of renewing the human family, building together a future of justice and peace and ensuring that no one is left behind.”
He started his letter focusing on how Christians believe that Jesus came to form a united family in the image of the Holy Trinity, which requires a commitment on the part of Christian believers to seek to form communion and community in diversity.
Christians in particular, he said, are called to have special care for those on the “existential peripheries,” like “migrants and refugees, displaced persons and victims of human trafficking.”
Today’s migration movements, he said, “offer an opportunity for us to overcome our fears and let ourselves be enriched by the diversity of each person’s gifts.” It is a chance to “transform borders into privileged places of encounter.”
“Ours must be a personal and collective commitment that cares for all our brothers and sisters, … that makes no distinction between natives and foreigners, between residents and guests.”
He finished the message with a prayer asking God to “bless each act of welcome and outreach that draws those in exile into the ‘we’ of community,” so that the world may become what God created it to be: “the common home of all our brothers and sisters.”
To read the Papal Message, please click here.
Hearing from the Church in Nigeria
HEARING FROM THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA — On May 3, Archbishop Caccia welcomed Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade of the Diocese of Ondo, Nigeria, to the Mission. Bishop Arogundade updated Archbishop Caccia on the situation of the Church in Nigeria, particularly the violence caused by the Boko Haram and Faluni Herdsman against Christians and Muslims both. Bishop Arogundade and Archbishop Caccia are accompanied by Msgr. David Charters of the Holy See Mission (left) and Father Augustine Deji Dada (right), a priest of the Diocese of Ondo serving in the Archdiocese of New York.
Hearing from the Church in Erbil
HEARING FROM THE CHURCH IN ERBIL — On May 4, Archbishop Caccia welcomed Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of the Archdiocese of Erbil in Iraq, who briefed the Mission on the March visit of Pope Francis to Iraq and spoke about the ongoing efforts to rebuild churches and all of Iraqi society after the ISIS attacks last decade. Accompanying Archbishop Warda was Stephen Rasche, Director of the Institute for Ancient and Threatened Christianity.
KARAOKE NIGHT — On May 5, staff and interns gathered after work for a karaoke night. Since it was happening on Cinco de Mayo, the event had a Mexican flair. Most concluded that the interns were better suited to future careers in international relations than on Broadway!
Path to Peace Gala, 2021
SAVE THE DATE — The annual Path to Peace Gala will be held at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan on November 16th, 2021, from 6-10 pm. The honoree will be His Excellency António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.