We recognize Christ in both those who migrate and those who welcome the stranger. The story of our faith is in many ways a story of migration. Abraham and Sarah crossed borders to find a new home; the Israelites sought refuge in Egypt and later fled from slavery to the promised land; Mary and Joseph left their home as refugees to avoid violence against their family.
As the bishops of the US and Mexico together remind us, God calls for genuine communion and solidarity between those who migrate and the communities and nations which receive them.
Learn what else the US Bishops have to say in their pastoral letter, Welcoming The Stranger Among Us: Unity In Diversity.
Extensions and Activities
Pope Francis’ 2018 Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Explain to students that they are going learn about four ways Pope Francis calls us to respond to the issue of migration today.
- Divide the students into 4 groups.
- Play the audio report report from Vatican Radio on Pope Francis’ 2018 Message for the World Day of Migrants
- Give each group a verb: Welcome, Protect, Promote, Integrate
- Play the radio report again, telling the groups to listen close about what the Pope said about the verb they were given for a shared response to migration.
In their small groups, have students:
- Discuss what they heard in the news report about the verb you were assigned. Use dictionaries to look up what the word means
- Make a poster that shows what each word means and present it to their classmates
For deeper exploration, students can read the 2018 Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
Discussion Questions for the US Bishops’ Statement on Migration
In 2000, the USCCB put out the statement Welcoming The Stranger Among Us: Unity In Diversity. In small groups, have students review the following questions and then read the Bishops’ statement to find the answers.
What are some of the challenges the Bishops describe in this letter?
Why should we respond? What is it in our faith and the Catholic Church that calls us to respond to these issues?
What are practical ways the Bishops describe to address these challenges?
Photo: (CNS/D. Egan-Chin/U.S.)