With a simple gesture of open arms, participants at the Marist Brothers General Chapter joined in the Caritas Internationalis #ShareJourney campaign to warmly welcome migrants and displaced persons.
This campaign was launched by Pope Francis a few days ago. It seeks to contribute to the creation of a culture of welcome, encounter, to increasing the spaces and opportunities for migrants and local communities to get to know better one another.
The Marist Brothers General Chapter, presently taking place in Colombia, has reaffirmed the desire of all Champagnat Marists throughout the world to be an inclusive and outgoing church. In this context, Emili Turú, during his final address, challenged the whole Institute to respond to the situation faced by many migrants and displaced persons throughout the world with these words:
The question I believe that we have to address now, as a Chapter, goes much further than various one-off initiatives. Is there something that we could and should be doing as a global body to provide a response to this emerging situation in our world, either by ourselves or with other institutions?
Today, a number of Champagnat Marists are already working in places that welcome displaced persons or refugees. For example, we see the prophetic actions of those involved in ‘The Fratelli Project’ in Lebanon, an inter-congregational community of Marist Brothers and Brothers of La Salle; in the Solidarity with South Sudan; in the “Blue Marists” of Syria; in the international LaValla200> community of Siracusa, and other specific actions, such as the presence of three refugees in the General House. Even so, it is clear there is a need to create new institutional policies and wider pastoral action that increase the practice of welcoming displaced people across the Institute.
What is the ‘Share the Journey’ campaign?
Share the Journey has at its heart the vision of a united global human family. The focus is on sharing the journey with people who are on the move in places of departure, transit and host communities. The Caritas’ public awareness campaign promotes opportunities and spaces for refugees, displaced people and communities to come together and to share stories and experiences that aim to strengthen the bonds between all parties.
How to participate?
In a simple way, you can participate and show your support and understanding of the experiences and challenges faced by refugees through taking a photo of you, or a group of supporters, showing the gesture of open arms. Then post the photo to social networks using the hashtag #sharejourney. Follow the Caritas website and see other details.