“Not just to see but to look. Not just to hear but to listen. Not just to meet and pass by, but to stop. And don’t just say ‘what a shame, poor people,’ but allow ourselves to be moved by pity.” – Pope Francis.
Manik Willver D'Costa- Pastoral Coordinator of Chittagong Archdiocese, Bangladesh
His Holiness Pope Francis launched the Caritas Internationalis campaign “Share the Journey” today on 27th February 2017 from Saint Peter’s Square inviting everyone around the world to “Share the Journey” with refugees and migrants.
Caritas Internationalis runs the campaign. It is a global confederation of 165 national development agencies. Caritas Internationalies is the charitable arm of the Catholic Church and the confederation works at diocesan, national, regional and international level on issues such as poverty, migration, climate change, hunger, health and emergencies. In Bangladesh it is known as ‘Caritas Bangladesh’.
“One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as individuals, communities and countries at this time of mass movements of people and global doubt is ‘Do I allow fear to prevail in my heart, or do I allow hope to reign?’ Through ‘Share the Journey’ we hope to dispel fear and understand why so many people are leaving their homes at this time in history. We also want to inspire communities to build relationships with refugees and migrants. We want to shine a light and lead the way. Migration is a very old story but our campaign aims to help communities see it with new eyes and an open heart.”- Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, president of Caritas Internationalis.
Share the Journey starts on 27th September 2017 and runs until September 2019. Share the Journey has at its heart the vision of a united global human family. Its focus is on our joint journey as people on the move in departure, transit and host communities. Public awareness campaign promotes opportunities and spaces for migrants and communities to come together and share stories and experiences with the aim of strengthening the bonds between migrants and communities.
“Meeting migrants and refugees and listening to their stories — and having them listen to the stories of people in their host communities — mean the walls people have erected in their minds and hearts should begin to fall.”- Michel Roy, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis.
When the campaign begins, Caritas Chittagong as well as Caritas Bangladesh is having true encounter in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh with the refugees from Rakhaine State of Myamnar.
“Lucky they are who became refugees in Bangladesh as family! But there are more women who lost their husbands and could manage to come to Bangladesh only with their children! Many mothers witnessed their children being killed by the army, died of hunger on the way to Bangladesh! Most terrific over every situation is thousands of children fled to Bangladesh completely parentless! Their parents are either dead or lost! Most of these children are traumatized! Bangladeshis are going speechless hearing these orphans’ cries.”- Archbishop Moses M. Costa, CSC of Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, CSC of Dhaka, president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh; Archbishop Moses M. Costa, CSC of Chittagong, secretary General of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh visited refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar respectively on 24th September and 27th September.
Mr. Francis Atul Sarkar- Executive Director of Caritas Bangladesh visited the camps twice along with Cardinal Patrick and Archbishop Moses. Asst. Executive Director Mr. Ranjan Francis Rozario; Senior Manager of Disaster Management Department of Caritas Bangladesh also visited. Delegation from Caritas Germany is there too. Jesuit Priests are rendering service for the refugee children. Mr. James Gomes- Regional Director has been staying in Cox’s Bazar for past few days along with other officials from Caritas Chittagong. These visits aimed to make the compassionate journey with them not only through the relief service but also through the personal encounter. May the Good Lord bless them all so that they can share the stories with the community.
For more information regarding “Share the Journey” campaign, click here.
To see the press conference by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on “Share the Journey”, click here.