Every year Caritas marks a Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants — established by New Zealand’s Catholic bishops — by creating liturgical resources and inviting schools and communities to join them in prayer and reflection. This year, Caritas also asked communities to join them and Caritas Internationalis in fostering welcoming communities around the world — including here in Aotearoa New Zealand. For almost a year, Caritas Internationalis (CI) has been running the “Share the Journey” campaign to encourage a culture of encounter. The campaign aims not only to share the journey, but to promote an environment of learning and community. Centred around the UN’s World Refugee Day (June 20), CI has declared a Global Week of Action from June 17 through to June 24.
The Global Week of Action is a time to inspire individuals and communities to come together to share their journey through a global series of shared meals and activities.
Caritas director Julianne Hickey said that “advocating for and promoting the wellbeing of refugees and migrants is part of the Caritas mandate”.
In addition to posting and sharing on social media throughout the week, Caritas hosted a shared meal on Saturday, June 23 at St Joseph’s parish, Mt Victoria, Wellington, inviting members of cultural chaplaincies and religious communities, as well as refugee and migrant families.
Event co-organiser and Caritas staff member, Joanna Viernes said “Food is a simple, yet important, way to build community and share stories.”
“This a reminder to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees into our hearts and communities not for a day, or a week, or a year. This is an ongoing process for getting to know our neighbours,” said Mrs Hickey.
More information on Caritas’ work with refugees and migrants is online at www.caritas.org.nz/refugees-migrants