Bishop Narciso Abellana, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI). DIOCESE OF ROMBLON

By CBCP News

September 23, 2022

Manila, Philippines

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) appealed to church people and the laity to help make society more inclusive.

Bishop Narciso Abellana of the CBCP Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) said that “God’s inclusive love” enjoins people to regard migrants and refugees as “co-builders and co-citizens”.

“They are to be regarded not as competitors and displacers, but as contributors to the growth of their adoptive countries because of the work they do,” Abellana said in his message for the 36th National Migrants’ Sunday (NMS).

“This inclusivity may push us to a world without limits — no more theirs and ours, them and us; no more strangers, but only brothers and sisters under one shepherd,” he said.

World Day of Migrants and Refugees

This year’s NMS falls on September 25, which is also the Vatican’s 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR).

Pope Francis has chosen the theme, “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees”, in order to highlight the contribution of migrants and refugees.

The theme, according to ECMI, also reminds Christians of their calling “to share in building a future that embraces God’s plan”.

“As we celebrate the NMS, the challenge for the Catholic Church in the Philippines is to make sure that we are all together in building the future and to see to it that nobody is left behind,” it added.

The ECMI called on parishes and their parishioners to make the celebration “a significant event for the Filipinos living and working abroad and their families left behind”.

National Seafarers’ Day

Since Sept. 25 is also the National Seafarers’ Day (NSD) in the Philippines, activities will be held in several ports and chaplaincies of Stella Maris in the country.

In Manila, the celebration will be held at the Philippine Coastguard compound in Port Area with a Mass at a 7am to be presided over by Fr. Lowie Palines, PCG Chaplain.

Stella Maris is a Catholic agency under the CBCP that provides pastoral services to seafarers and their families.


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