Pope Benedict XVI's message for the 96th World Day of Migrants and Refugees which takes place on Sunday 17th January 2010 may be read here.
In Waterford, Br Kevin Mascarenhas is the Director of the Information and Support Unit at Mount Sion which provides a wide array of services to immigrant peoples in the city. You can read all about Br Kevin's work here.
In his message, the Pope begins by asserting that "the migrant is a human person who possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance."
He also reminds us that "as a child, Jesus himself experienced migration for, as the Gospel recounts, in order to flee the threats of Herod, he had to seek refuge in Egypt together with Joseph and Mary."
Pope Benedict also appeals for integration of migrant peoples- "it is important that these young people be given the possibility of attending school and subsequently of being integrated into the world of work, and that their social integration be facilitated by appropriate educational and social structures. It should never be forgotten that adolescence constitutes a fundamental phase for the formation of human beings."
The Holy Father finishes his message with a prayer: "May the Blessed Virgin Mary watch over us all and help us to understand the difficulties faced by those who are far from their homeland."
Photo 1: Receiving Certificates at Mount Sion.