The Vatican has designated Sunday, September 27 as the World Day for Migrants and Refugees. The theme chosen by Pope Francis for the 106th observance of this day is “Forced like Jesus Christ to Flee” a focus on the plight of internally displaced persons. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, and chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration issued the following comment:
“The World Day for Migrants and Refugees is an opportunity to reflect on the global contributions of immigrants and refugees and highlight the work of the Church to welcome, protect, and integrate them. We are reminded that regardless of our background, we are all built in the image of God and should be treated as such. In his message on the World Day for Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis has highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the forced displacement of people and the difficulties they encounter when seeking protection. This day is an opportunity to unite the world in addressing forced displacement and pray for the well-being of our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters as we continue to work to bring solidarity, compassion, and love throughout our human encounters.
“It is of vital importance for us to embrace love for our neighbor as we love ourselves and live out this commitment daily. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, also noted in his annual message, ‘To preserve our common home and make it conform more and more to God’s original plan, we must commit ourselves to ensure international cooperation, global solidarity, and local commitment, leaving no one excluded.’”
Bishop Dorsonville will be celebrating a Mass to commemorate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees at St. John Neumann’s Parish on September 27, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. The mass will be live-streamed via St. John Neumann’s’ YouTube channel.