Written on: January 6, 2014
In the United States over the last few years immigration policies have become a matter of great discussion. Despite much work, immigration reform is stalled in Congress. Sunday, Jan. 5, is the start of National Migration Week. The Feast of Epiphany invites us to reflect on these issues and translate our faith into an inclusive welcome to all God’s children.
Pope Francis writes: “Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more. The sheer number of people migrating from one continent to another, or shifting places within their own countries and geographical areas, is striking. Contemporary movements of migration represent the largest movement of individuals, if not of peoples, in history. As the Church accompanies migrants and refugees on their journey, she seeks to understand the causes of migration, but she also works to overcome its negative effects, and to maximize its positive influence on the communities of origin, transit and destination.” (Message for World Day of Migrant and Refugees, 2013)
Below is a prayer from the USCCB that you may wish to say this week. This is the link for an article on the status of the Immigration Reform bill. This is an issue that we ought to follow with passion and compassion.
Peace and all good for the New Year and beyond,
Sister Diane Bardol
A Prayer for Migrants
Merciful and loving Father,
you provided for your people Israel in their exodus
a promised land that you established for them,
and in Jesus Christ you provide welcome refuge for all
We ask for your divine protection for all migrants
who have left their homes in search of new
opportunity in another land.
For refugees, who are forced from their homes due to
threats of violence,
we beseech you to provide them a safe haven.
For migrants trafficked into slavery,
grant them rescue, healing, and the strength to
For immigrants, who so often leave their family and
grant them a better life and greater opportunity
We pray in particular for your protection over migrant
children who are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse
at the hands of others.
We implore you to grant all migrants your protection
and lead them to a place of safety.
Be with all those in need with your power to save.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the
one God, forever and ever.
One thought on “Prayer for National Migration Week”
I attended the Immigration Reform seminar at Buffalo Catholic Academy on January 14, 2014. It was an informative and well-attended event. The panelists were knowledgeable and eloquent. The representative families provided stunning examples of the injustice built into US immigration policy since the 1990s.
However, one jarring note occurred at the beginning of the program. A bishop making some opening remarks stated that “both sides of the government” are at fault for holding up reform. That statement provides further cover for the clearly stated goal of the US House of Representatives leadership to delay or divert ALL legislative action, appointments and programs of the current administration; “We’re going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.” (Rep.John Boehner – October 2010, referring to Administration’s agenda – http: //www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/44311.html)
Failure to address this fact prevents constructive dialogue and action of citizens to address this within the jurisdictions those obstructionists represent.