On April 15, in Rome (Italy), the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, of which the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is member via its 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, will promote an online event focused on the current situation of refugees and migrants in the world.
The meeting will be coordinated by the Migrants & Refugees Section, one of the technical bodies making up the aforementioned Dicastery, presided over by Pope Francis, whose undersecretaries are Father Fabio Baggio and Cardinal Michael Czerny. The debate will revolve around the challenges that may arise, as well as successful initiatives such as the construction of a Church, close to refugees and migrants.
Furthermore, the meeting agenda will address three topics: a) the challenges faced by the Church in this context and the actions to be undertaken; b) refugee families living the drama of forced migration; and c) a pastoral vision of the future to respond to these challenges.
“We, SSVP members, can greatly contribute to this debate, since we have welcomed migrants and refugees in various parts of the world to enable them to live with dignity. In addition to material support, we provide spiritual guidance and religious counseling to soothe the hearts of these suffering and excluded people”, stressed President General, Renato Lima, and added: “During the health crisis, the refugee/migrant situation has been exacerbated due to the social-distancing imposed by the government, which, unfortunately, has heightened social isolation and rejection towards these children of God”.
Throughout the year, other virtual events (and face-to-face events, pandemic permitting) will be held to further discuss with members of the Dicastery on other topics foreseen in the Discatery’s statutes, such as charity and solidarity, justice and peace, caring for God’s creation and health.
On September 26, 2021, the Holy Church is celebrating the WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES. A media campaign will be launched to raise awareness about this issue. We invite all Superior/National Councils to read Pope Francis’ Message, available at https://migrants-refugees.va.
We are convinced that the SSVP in each country will rally the Church’s efforts to help vulnerable groups and families who bear the brunt of migration.
Read the speech in English of our President General during the debate on how to welcome refugees and migrants: PDF file.