The Archdiocese of Chicago to Observe National Migration Week, Sept. 20 – 26, 2021
Chicago, (Sept. 20, 2021) – In observance of National Migration Week, Sept. 20 – 26, 2021, Archdiocese of Chicago parishes and its Immigration Ministry will host events celebrating Chicagoland’s diverse Catholic community. This year’s National Migration Week theme is “Towards an Ever Wider ‘We’.”
“The Holy Father’s theme of widening the ‘we’ comes at a time when so many migrants and refugees are seeking humanitarian aid, protections and resettlements from violence, war, repeated natural disasters and climate change-induced droughts and famine during a surging global pandemic,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “As he emphasizes in his encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti, we should think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those,’ but only as ‘us’. Our Church’s universality calls us to cultivate and celebrate community and diversity and to be companions for those seeking safe havens.”
In his message for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2021, Pope Francis said he would like to use this World Day, “to address a twofold appeal, first to the Catholic faithful and then all the men and women of our world, to advance together towards an ever wider ‘we’.” He emphasized leaving no one behind adding, “we must make every effort to break down the walls that separate us and, in acknowledging our profound interconnection, build bridges that foster a culture of encounter. Today’s migration movements offer an opportunity for us to overcome our fears and let ourselves be enriched by the diversity of each person’s gifts. Then, if we so desire, we can transform borders into privileged places of encounter, where the miracle of an ever wider ‘we’ can come about.”
Events observing National Migration Week include:
Monday, Sept. 20:
7 p.m.: St. Constance Parish, 5843 W. Strong St. in Chicago, will host a Mass in honor of National Migration Week with special intentions for all immigrants. The Mass is organized by the Polish Immigrant to Immigrant Ministry with special guest Brother Ayub Mwenda, a Franciscan from Kenya.
Wednesday, Sept. 22:
7 p.m.: St. Leonard Catholic Church, 3322 S. Clarence Ave. in Berwyn, will host an evening of reflection on current immigration issues at the school hall.
Saturday, Sept. 25
10 – 11 a.m.: The Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants will host a vigil at the intersection of Ashland/Milwaukee Avenues and Division Street (near the Blue Line), to protest the continuance of Title 42, which denies entry into the U.S. without a hearing or any proof of contagion.
Sunday, Sept. 26
6 p.m.: The archdiocese’s Immigration Ministry will host a webinar exploring Pope Francis’s call to widen our concept of ‘we’ to grow as a Church and to enrich one another. Registration is required: bit.ly/toward-an-ever-widening-we.
For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week. The observance week has been celebrated the week after the Epiphany in January but to align with Pope Francis’s 2019 announcement that the World Day of Migrants and Refugees would be celebrated on the last Sunday of September, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently decided to move National Migration Week to the last week in September.
The USCCB encourages Catholic communities to come together as a universal Church to welcome immigrants and refugees in local parishes, dioceses and broader communities to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants and to pray for and act on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking and to stand in solidarity with them.
For more information about National Migration Week activities, please visit https://pvm.archchicago.org/human-dignity-solidarity/immigration-ministry/national-migration-week.