January 31, 2018

Mercy for Immigrants: Sharing the Journey

Editor: National Migration Week in the United States (7-13 January) is an invitation and an opportunity each year for the Catholic Church there to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants. The theme for 2018 'Many Journeys, One Family' draws attention to the fact that each family has a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. It occurs at a time when the immigration system in the U.S. can at best be described as 'broken'.

Image: Ellen FitzGerald rsm with refugees from Southeast Asia in 1979. Supplied by Mercy Heritage Center courtesy Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Communications Office

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas have chosen to highlight in their family story their walking with immigrants, from the arrival of the first seven Sisters in the US in 1843—themselves immigrants from Ireland—until the present day. The image featured above is from the 1970s when Sisters of Mercy responded to waves of immigrants from Southeast Asia.

Said Sr Pat McDermott, President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in her Statement on National Migration Week 'During National Migration Week – and every day – the Sisters of Mercy stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are forced by poverty, persecution or violence in their native countries to flee their homes, loved ones and livelihoods, desperately seeking safety and the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.'

The story they have shared online is one illustration of global Mercy’s continuing response in prayer, advocacy and action to the needs of migrants and refugees: 'Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating' (Pope Francis, Message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018), a concern demonstrated again recently in the focus on this issue by almost a third of the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) groups under the theme of Displacement of persons (p6).

The online presentation is linked here.

Messages to: Institute Communications Office c/- Lauren Albright

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