Jan 7, 2016

World Migrant and Refugee Sunday (Jan 17).

There are many agencies already offering support to asylum seekers and refugees in Ireland and abroad. Here are a few resources made available to parishes in 2015. Feel free to share these, and any other resources that might help your parish or school to grow in awareness and in action on behalf of the most vulnerable.

‘Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognised in migrants and refugees, in displaced person and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches’. (Pope Francis, World Migrant Sunday, Jan 2015)

Migrant Sunday, Jan 17th 2016

The World Day for Migrants and Refugees is celebrated every year in the month of January. The theme of the year is set out in a letter that is issued by the Holy Father prior to the celebration. This year the theme is in keeping with the Jubilee of Mercy. Somelovely resources were created by the Sacred Heart Messanger here:

First question

Should the Church have an opinion on care of refugees or on political decisions about how we treat the most vulnerable?: Yes we should!



Our Parish

A person who crosses the door of a parish church is as welcome to that community as those who have been there for three generations; this is the only strategy of welcome that has a genuinely Christian foundation. (Fr. Alan Hilliard)

How can we welcome to our church, those who speak another language?

The Irish Episcopal Council for Immigrants have produced a number of resources to assist parishes in welcoming those from other countries in their liturgical celebrations. These include a welcome poster, first steps for welcoming the stranger into our parishes, prayers in different languages and Catholic Social Teaching on Migration. Click HERE

The Immigrant Council has created resources for Christmas and for World Day of Migrants and Refugees which can be adapted to any time of year. These include ideas for parish action, liturgy resources and personal prayer and action.


Fr Alan Hilliard, (Chaplain, DIT Bolton St, Co-ordinator DIT Chaplaincy Service) has created a 2 page information leaflet for parishes on pratcical ways to help and welcome refugees living in your local community. download a free copy HERE.



How can we offer an Advent or Christmas greeting in other languages

The Irish Bishops Conference offer Candle Lighting cards in a variety of languages. Perhaps you, as a parish, might identify homes that would appreciate this gesture of welcome, and a parish visitation team might drop in a card!

Two posters are available for your church porches/entrances - with Christmas greetings in a variety of languages. HERE


What other resources are available:

Trocaire Resources:

  • Seeking Refuge: Sept 2015 for parish newsletters, Sunday Mass and more. HERE
  • Stations of the Cross - Syrian childrens reflections on war HERE
  • Rediscovering Mercy: A four night course to recommect Faith and  Mercy - from the personal and local community to the global,  in action and in prayer and reflection.  HERE



Doras Luimni's 'Anti-Rumours' project: A project to dispel myths about immigration and integration. - information and reosources at

Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration - A reflection paper with discussion questions for parish. From the US conference of Bishops HERE

Irish Bishops Conference - resources, statements and other information HERE

A Prayer for Refugees


Almighty and merciful God,
Whose Son became a refugee
And had no place to call his own.

Look with mercy on those who today
Are fleeing from danger,
Homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief;
Inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
And guide the nations of Europe towards that day
When all will rejoice in your Kingdom of justice and peace.

We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.