This year’s Rice Bowl program has taken on a special theme, following the two-year “Share the Journey” campaign kicked off by Pope Francis last September. As part of this ongoing effort of the universal church, Rice Bowl, too, is focusing on ways in which we share the journey of those in need, particularly migrants and refugees.
Pope Francis began the New Year praying the world would demonstrate a marked increase in solidarity and welcome for migrants and refugees.
German churches have agreed to use sanctuary in “very few and particular cases after a thorough legal check,” while there appears to be a tacit agreement that the government “would not deport such cases without first having a second look at the application.”
With so much suffering, poverty and exploitation in the world, missionary work must also include reaching out to people whose hearts are closed to receiving immigrants and refugees, Pope Francis told Jesuits in Myanmar.
Exploiting a fear of migrants and refugees for political gain increases the possibility of violence and discrimination and does nothing to build a culture of peace, Pope Francis said in his message for World Peace Day 2018.
As the nation made preparations to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed gratitude for “the gift of immigrants and refugees to the country,” but also appealed for their protection.
Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, told his fellow bishops Nov. 13 that more than 100 U.S. dioceses have participated in the “Share the Journey” campaign launched by Pope Francis Sept. 27.
The Rohingya refugee influx is also causing an environmental crisis for Bangladesh, in part because the massive numbers of refugees quickly raced ahead of government efforts to channel them into organized settlements.
Pope Francis has approved specific “action points” or concrete proposals the Vatican wants to see incorporated into the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees which goes hand in hand with a much more personalized effort to encourage individual Catholics to meet a migrant or refugee and listen to that person’s story.
The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked part of a lower court ruling that would have allowed certain refugees into the country even though they had been banned by a presidential executive order.