Pope Francis: Migrants and refugees have ‘enormous potential’ to help society

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


Pope Francis visits a reception center for asylum seekers in Castelnuovo di Porto, Italy, on March 24, 2016. / Vatican Media.

Vatican City, May 12, 2022 / 04:27 am (CNA).

Pope Francis said Thursday that migrants and refugees have “enormous potential” to help society if they are given a chance.

In his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, issued May 12, the pope said history showed that new arrivals played a “fundamental role” in social and economic growth.

“This continues to be true in our own day. Their work, their youth, their enthusiasm, and their willingness to sacrifice enrich the communities that receive them,” he wrote.

“Yet this contribution could be all the greater were it optimized and supported by carefully developed programs and initiatives. Enormous potential exists, ready to be harnessed, if only it is given a chance.”

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees, instituted in 1914 by Pope Pius X, is celebrated annually on the last Sunday in September. This year it falls on Sept. 25.

The theme of the 108th World Migrant and Refugee Day is “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees.”

In his 1,200-word message, dated May 9, the pope described the presence of migrants and refugees as both “a great challenge” and “an immense opportunity.”

He noted that migration had enriched Catholic communities around the world.

“As we have seen, the arrival of Catholic migrants and refugees can energize the ecclesial life of the communities that welcome them,” he said. “Often they bring an enthusiasm that can revitalize our communities and enliven our celebrations.”

“Sharing different expressions of faith and devotions offers us a privileged opportunity for experiencing more fully the catholicity of the People of God.”

Pope Francis closed his World Day of Migrants and Refugees message with an appeal to young people to “build the future” together with migrants and refugees.

“We cannot leave to future generations the burden of responsibility for decisions that need to be made now, so that God’s plan for the world may be realized and his Kingdom of justice, fraternity, and peace may come,” he said.

The pope concluded with a prayer:

Lord, make us bearers of hope,
so that where there is darkness,
your light may shine,
and where there is discouragement,
confidence in the future may be reborn.

Lord, make us instruments of your justice,
so that where there is exclusion, fraternity may flourish,
and where there is greed, a spirit of sharing may grow.

Lord, make us builders of your Kingdom,
together with migrants and refugees
and with all who dwell on the peripheries.

Lord, let us learn how beautiful it is
to live together as brothers and sisters. Amen.

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  1. If they can do so much good, why don’t they channel these abilities into improving their own nations. Contrary to all the platitudes and cliches Francis tosses off so effortlessly (he has had plenty of practice), almost all of his beloved migrants burden the societies they have invaded and on which they have no legitimate claim. May Western countries recover the will to survive while they still have a chance.

  2. Migrants and refugees – they are ambassadors of the Good News. They awaken faith and love in the minds and hearts of their distinguished hosts.

    • Migrants and refugees – they are ambassadors of the Good News.

      Are they, every one of them? Are the hosts always distinguished, without faith and love???

      Have you ever heard of the argument in need of reason, logic, evidence, and made without prejudice?

      • P.S.: I’d be curious to know whether the country you call home is open without restriction to unlimited numbers of impoverished, drug-peddling, child-trafficking criminals. Is your personal residence open to visitors? Do you have a fence around your property or a lock on your door? Are your windows always open? Are your friends (and your enemies) always granted liberty (and without your knowledge) to come and go from the space in which you spend most of your time? Do you own any ‘private’ property? Do you give others the freedom to use your ‘stuff’ in spite of your wanting/needing/hoping to use it at the same time?

  3. Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

    Deuteronomy 32:7-8 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

    Job 14:5 Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass.

  4. Is Papa in concordance with the George Soros approach? Some migrants have “enormous potential” to harm the established society. The Vatican has walls and tight security and for good reason.

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