This upcoming Sunday, September 24, is the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. This year’s theme as chosen by Pope Francis is, “Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay.”
The Most Rev. Francis Leo, Archbishop of Toronto said in a letter issued to the faithful, “As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to be a place of refuge, a safe haven of welcome and love for all. The stories of migrants and refugees are stories of resilience, determination, and faith that inspire us.”
“Our faith invites us to broaden our understanding of community, to embrace the opportunities to care for others which in turn enriches us, and to concretely reach out with compassion to those who have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety and hope.”
The Archdiocese of Toronto together with the parish community of Jesus the King Greek Melkite Catholic Church will be recognizing the day with a special Mass on September 24 at 12 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Transfiguration located at 10350 Victoria Square Blvd., in Markham, ON. The Mass will be celebrated by Monsignor Makarios Wehbi with Bishop John Boissonneau as homilist. All are welcome to attend.
In a message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis writes, ““In whatever place we decide to build our future, in the country of our birth or elsewhere, the important thing is that there always be a community ready to welcome, protect, promote and integrate everyone, without distinctions and without excluding anyone.”
God, Father Almighty,
grant us the grace to work tirelessly
for justice, solidarity and peace,
so that all your children may enjoy
the freedom to choose whether to migrate or to stay.
Grant us the courage to denounce
all the horrors of our world,
and to combat every injustice
that mars the beauty of your children
and the harmony of our common home.
Sustain us by the power of your Spirit,
so that we can reflect your tender love
to every migrant whom you place in our path,
and to spread in hearts and in every situation
the culture of encounter and of care.
To read the message from Pope Francis in its entirety, please click here.
To read the letter from Archbishop Leo in its entirety, please click here.
For more information on the upcoming Mass in recognition of World Day of Migrants and Refugees, please click here.
For additional resources on World Day of Migrants and Refugees, please click here.