National Migration Week 2015 will take place January 4-10 with the theme, "We are One Family under God." The celebration of National Migration Week provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the hardships faced by migrants, including children, refugees and victims of human trafficking.
"Migrants –including children, immigrants, refugees, and victims of human trafficking– are our spiritual brothers and sisters," said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration. "They often find themselves isolated, alone and separated from family, their ability to live out their lives in fullness severely restricted. Often family members are separated from one another because of deportation, detention, or related immigration laws that inhibit family reunification."
"We are all created equal in God's image," said Bishop Elizondo. "There is no such thing as an illegal human being. During National Migration Week we should not only pray for our brothers and sisters who are marginalized but also advocate that protections are provided to them, for they need them most."
The observance of National Migration Week began over 25 years ago by the U.S. bishops to give Catholics an opportunity to take stock of the wide diversity of peoples in the Church and the ministries serving them. The week serves as both a time for prayer and action to try and ease the struggles of immigrants, migrants and vulnerable populations coming to America and a time for reflection on the Church's call to "welcome the stranger." The 2015 National Migration Week marks 50 years of service by USCCB Migration and Refugee Services.
Photo: CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec