Words of welcome - 2016
Fr Maurizio Pettena CS - National Director ACMRO
I would like to take this opportunity to express my hope that you all had a blessed Christmas and New Year.
As we begin 2016 with the continued migrant crisis in Europe as well as in the Middle East we are reminded of their situation and, "Now as then, we hear Rachel weeping for her children who are no more (cf.Jer 31:15; Mt 2:18). Hers is the plea of thousands of people who weep as they flee horrific wars, persecutions and human rights violations, or political or social instability, which often make it impossible for them to live in their native lands. It is the outcry of those forced to flee in order to escape unspeakable acts of cruelty towards vulnerable persons, such as children and the disabled, or martyrdom solely on account of their religion." (Pope Francis, Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Vatican City, 11 January 2016)
On December 8 2015, Pope Francis began a Jubilee Year of Mercy. We should use every opportunity available to us during this time to bring to the attention of those around us, whom we meet and know, the situation of migrants and refugees worldwide.
By being better informed, expressing solidarity with, and doing all we can within our capacity we can begin to change the lives, for the better, of migrants and refugees within our communities and eventually worldwide.
This year, the ACMRO has many projects lined up, including our parish pastoral resource, the Migrant and Refugee Kit, to be used by parishes and schools in order to celebrate Migrant and Refugee Sunday on 28 August 2016. The kit will be made available through the ACMRO website.
The ACMRO is also organising the Fifth National Conference on the Pastoral Care to Migrants and Refugees, to occur this year. This will be an opportunity for migrant chaplains within dioceses as well as pastoral workers within the migration field to come together and reflect on the call to be a missionary in Australia in the context of our multicultural society and Church.
The ACMRO will also be launching its new website soon, so please keep an eye out for this new resource.
With every blessing for the year ahead,
Fr Maurizio Pettena