Share the journey listening to migrant, refugee stories

All Catholics should meet a migrant or refugee and listen to their story, Pope Francis says.

To help everyone on their way with this, in late September he will be launching a “Share the Journey” campaign.

Caritas Internationalis are leading this two year programme which promotes encounters between people on the move and people living in the countries they are leaving, passing through or arriving in.

According to Michel Roy, who is the secretary general of Caritas Internationalis, meeting migrants and refugees, listening to their stories and sharing the host community’s stories with them “mean the walls people have erected in their minds and hearts should begin to fall.

“You may be afraid of migrants as a large group of people coming in, but when you meet a migrant, then you have a different vision,” he says.

Furthermore, Roy says he believes “most people who vote for political parties espousing anti-immigrant sentiments have never met a migrant”, which makes it easy for politicians to convince them they have something to fear from them.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, president of Caritas Internationalis, has written to the Caritas federation asking them to participate in the campaign.

“One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as individuals, communities and countries at this time of mass movements of people and global doubt is ‘Do I allow fear to prevail in my heart, or do I allow hope to reign?'” he says.

The “Share the Journey” campaign will run at least until 2019. Sponsorship will be available from Caritas to provide opportunities for migrants and members of host communities to meet and share their stories.

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News category: World.

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