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Share the Journey: Show your solidarity with immigrants & refugees

On Sept. 27, 2017 Pope Francis launched a global campaign to support migrants and refugees around the world. In collaboration with the annual celebration of Respect Life Month in October, the U.S. Bishops asked Catholics around the country to help kick off the campaign by taking part in a week of prayer and action for migrants and refugees from October 7-13. 

Prayer & Action Resources

Even though the week of prayer and action has concluded, we'll continue to provide resources from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for Catholic leaders across parishes, schools, and universities to animate their communities to participate and show their solidarity with immigrants and refugees.
 
Together with Pope Francis, we can lead the world in helping immigrants and refugees through "Share the Journey."  

More about Share the Journey

"Share the Journey" is a two-year worldwide campaign focused on raising awareness about and showing support for our brothers and sisters who have fled their homes seeking a decent and safe life for their families.  
 
On Sept. 27, with hundreds of refugees and migrants present in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis, joined by bishops worldwide, launched the campaign of Catholic charities around the world saying, Christ calls believers to welcome migrants and refugees "with arms wide open, ready to give a sincere, affectionate, enveloping embrace."

WATCH:
A special invitation from Caritas President Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines:

 

 Cardinal Tagle Video Message - Share the Journey

 
 

Ways to participate

Our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters often make perilous journeys because they are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict, poverty, persecution and violence. According to the United Nations, more than 65 million people are now counted as forcibly displaced - more people than at any other time in recorded history. Just over a third are refugees and more than half of those are children. 
 
Our faith calls us to love our neighbor, to see Christ in the faces of those in greatest need and to serve them; and to welcome newcomers seeking the security, peace, and opportunity unavailable in their home countries.
 
During "Share the Journey," we encourage you to meet an immigrant or a refugee to listen, to share stories and experiences.
 
"Pope Francis has shown us the power of actions over words and repeatedly invited us to spread, defend and live out the culture of encounter in a simple way just as Jesus did: not just seeing, but looking; not just hearing, but listening; not just passing people by, but stopping with them." - Cardinal Tagle 
 
Help your family, friends and neighbors participate in the “Share the Journey” campaign with Pope Francis, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA, and the Church’s global charitable network, Caritas Internationalis and Catholics worldwide! We've provided some ideas and suggestions about how to do this below.  

Key Dates

  • "Share the Journey" begins Sept. 27, 2017 and concludes September 2019
  • Oct. 7 - 13, 2017 - Week of Prayer and Action
  • Dec. 12, 2017 - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Jan. 7 - 13, 2018 - National Migration Week
  • Jan. 14, 2018 - World Day of Migrants and Refugees
    Read Pope Francis' message on "Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees"
  • June 20, 2018 - World Refugee Day (An annual worldwide observance dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. Initiated by the UN General Assembly in December 2000) 

Help:

  • Gather personal hygiene items and home furnishings for immigrants and refugees who are starting over
  • Volunteer your time with local immigrants and refugees or organizations who are assisting them. Assistance is often needed in tutoring, language skills development, shelter, basic resource allocation, legal services, job training, transportation and companionship. Even children can serve by collecting items or designing welcome cards for immigrants and refugee families who are arriving in your community.
  • Meet with immigrants and refugees. Contact Maggie Walsh, diocesan social justice coordinator, at mwalsh@ccwestmi.org or 616-340-1824 if you would like help coordinating an event.
  • Support the work of local and international Catholic agencies, like Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services, who help care for the needs of immigrants and refugees in the United States and around the world.
  • SIgn up for action alerts about national and global legislation concerning refugees and immigrants from Catholic Charities USA, Justice for Immigrants (USCCB) and Catholics Confront Global Poverty (from the USCCB and CRS). Create personalized postcards or letters for people to sign during the week of prayer and action. Schedule a meeting with your congressional offices in advance of the week of prayer and action, and hand deliver these letters or postcards at the meeting.

Education:

  • Attend community events, or contact local organizations assisting immigrants and refugees to discover opportunities to learn about the plight of migrants and refugees.
  • Host a simulation experience for constituents to explore why immigrants and refugees flee their homes. Find samples here from CRS, Catholic Charities of Louisville, and Cabrini University
  • Read World Refugee Day: What you should know (CNN)

Communicate:

  • Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #ShareJourney and #ComparteElCamino and this social media kit.
  • Connect with the Diocese of Grand Rapids on Facebook (Diocese of Grand Rapids) and Twitter (@GRDiocese)

Pray:

  • Pray the Migration Prayer (English | Español​) or the Prayer for Refugees daily or weekly with your family, friends, bible study group, or in the classroom.
  • Organize a community-wide prayer service or Mass for immigrants and refugees
  • Say a daily prayer for all people, especially children, who have fled their homes in search of peace and safety. Create your own or use the prayers above.

Additional resources 

“Share the Journey” is a joint effort by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), and Caritas Internationalis.