• Share the Journey Movement is Underway!


    School resources for STJ: https://www.sharejourney.org/resourc...holic-leaders/

    Greetings in Christ –

    • Pope Francis has called on us to join him in the “Share the Journey” initiative to highlight the plight of migrants and refugees around the world who have been driven from their homes. He asks us to love our neighbor and travel with them as they seek the lives of dignity and fulfillment that God intends for us all. The Holy Father launched this movement TODAY - Sept. 27th - with a symbolic gesture of reaching out to those forced from their homes.

    • This appeal is aimed at the Catholic Church worldwide, its message carried in this country by three agencies who work on behalf of the displaced both here and abroad – the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). As Pope Francis invites others to join him on this journey, the Catholic Church invites all those who share our concern to join us in this effort.

    • For too many in America and around the world, migrants and refugees are seen as threatening -- taking jobs, bringing crime, fomenting violence, even terror. But statistics show this is not the case. Very, very few people want to leave their homes. They are leaving because they are desperate. They might be fleeing a natural disaster – drought or flooding (as we saw here with Hurricanes Harvey or Irma). They might be fleeing violence – whether from gangs recruiting their children or from bombs dropped from the sky. They are often escaping from the very same terrorists who would do us harm.

    • What they deserve is not suspicion or fear but, as our faith requires, compassion and respect. We are not saying that all borders should be open or that immigrants should not be vetted. But we are saying that our attitudes and policies should be based on the fundamentals of our faith – on loving our neighbor, wherever she lives, and treating him as we would want to be treated ourselves.

    • These neighbors don’t always look like us, pray like us, dress like us, talk like us, or even live near us, but each one deserves a chance to flourish in this life.

    • This attitude toward refugees is fully in keeping with our faith tradition. The Old Testament often refers to the need to be hospitable to those fleeing foreign lands. And in Matthew 25, Jesus explicitly tells us to “welcome the stranger,” letting us know that whatever we do to the “least among us” we do for him.

    • The need is particularly acute now as over 65 million people are displaced globally -- the highest level since World War II. Pope Francis has recognized their plight since the beginning of his papacy when he visited the Italian island of Lampedusa where many land on their way from Africa and the Middle East trying to reach Europe. As he has said there is currently a great need for a “spirit of readiness to welcome those fleeing from wars and hunger, and solidarity with those deprived of their fundamental rights, including the right to profess one’s faith in freedom and safety.”

    • Pope Francis envisions this movement as both spiritual and practical, personal and political. He asks us to pray and reflect on this issue with Oct. 7th - 13th designated as a Week of Prayer and Action. He asks to seek out migrants and refugees in our neighborhoods, towns and cities, to encounter their lives, to hear their stories. And he asks us to help ensure that our government meets its obligation to protect those who are suffering, wherever they are in our world. (DACA, border wall, immigration reform, travel ban, refugee limits).

    • We are a wealthy nation, blessed with resources, and it is imperative that we show the international community our moral leadership on this issue, helping to prove that God is bountiful, that he has given us the means necessary to meet the needs of those in peril and in poverty, both here and abroad.

    • America has long welcomed the migrant. Our country has throughout history been seen as a safe haven from those fleeing violence, persecution and poverty. And the Catholic Church in the United States has been filled with migrants from around the world – from Poland and Italy and Ireland and Mexico and Guatemala. In joining Pope Francis in this “Share the Journey” initiative, we ensure that these traditions continue, nourishing our response to a worldwide humanitarian crisis.


    • Please PRAY for the success of this global movement. May it soften hearts, inspire direct encounter, and compel compassionate action.

    • Please PRAY for our local Encuentro, a four-year process of reflection and action for Hispanic Catholics.

    • Consider making an ENCOUNTER with migrants and refugees. Attend an ethnic event or Mass in a different language and connect with Catholics from many different cultural backgrounds. Masses in other languages can be located HERE!

    LEARN! Visit our archdiocesan Immigrant & Refugee web page, located HERE, for information, resources, and details related to the needs of local immigrants and refugees.

    • Visit sharejourney.org to find a diverse collection of resources that will help you and others gain insight into the migration experience. These resources include suggestions on how to engage your community on these topics during Mass, school, and community gatherings.

    ACT! You can announce your support for the initiative by posting a photo of yourself reaching out to migrants and refugees with the hashtag #sharejourney on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

    • Register and attend the Cornerstone Catholic Conference. (October 20-21, 2017 at the Tacoma Convention Center) Participate in Seeing Immigrants As Our Neighbors. Bishop Daniel Flores will draw upon Catholic teaching and years of experience to share about who immigrants are and why they risk their lives to come to the United States. What does our Catholic faith require of us? He will be joined by Bishop Robert Barron, Ralph McCloud, Helen Alvare, and our WA State Bishops.

    • Attend the next installment of Living with Dignity and Freedom from Oppression: The Intersection of Human Trafficking and the Contemporary Immigration Crisis at Kol HaNeshamah (6115 SW Hinds St, Seattle) on October 26th from 7:00-8:30 PM. Presented by the Multifaith Coalition to Address Human Trafficking through the Lens of Compassion.

    • Visit the Forced From Home Exhibit in Seattle. Doctors Without Borders presents this FREE interactive exhibition designed to expose the realities of the global refugee crisis. 10.02.2017 to 10.08.2017 at 101 Westlake Ave N, Seattle.

    • Look for stories in Northwest Catholic or radio interviews on Sacred Heart Radio related to the migrant and refugee experience.

    SERVE! Consider becoming an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor and help people adjust to their new community.

    VOLUNTEER! Join AIDNW in visiting detained immigrants and offering immediate re-entry resources at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. Or assist with religious services on the inside via our archdiocesan Immigrant & Refugee Ministry.

    ADVOCATE! Use the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants Advocacy Toolkit to advocate for just immigration laws.

    DONATE! Donate to a trusted organization offering services to migrants and refugees. Possibilities can be found HERE.

    If you need any additional resources or support, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I look forward to SHARING THE JOURNEY alongside all of you during the Holy Father’s two-year movement. Thank you for all your efforts and care. God bless.

    Joe Cotton
    Director of Pastoral Care & Outreach
    Tel: (206) 382-4847 | Cell: (206) 472-4270
    Archdiocese of Seattle | 710 9th Avenue Seattle, WA 98104 | www.seattlearchdiocese.org

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