A two-day meeting of the Catholic Council of the North Region Bishops’ Council was held on September 9 and 10 at the pastoral center of the Simla Chandigarh diocese, northern India.
It deliberated on the topic of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees this year, "Free to Choose whether to Migrate or to Stay."
Every year, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is observed on the last Sunday of September, and this year it falls on September 24.
The message of Pope Francis for the day is titled, "Free to Choose whether to Migrate or to Stay."
The meeting discussed the challenges and barriers to welcoming, protecting, promoting, and integrating migrants within the church and mainstreaming them into society at large.
The pastoral care of migrants is an important concern of the Catholic Church, and it includes all aspects of care for migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people without discriminating against anybody who is in need.
Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas of Chandigarh presided over the meetings; Archbishop Anil J.T. Couto of Delhi; Bishop Ivan Pereira of Jammu and Srinagar; and Bishop Agnelo Gracias, the administrator of the diocese of Jalandhar, attended the meetings.
Father Jaison Vadassery, secretary to the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and Commission for Migrants (Conference of Catholic Bishops of India), Ms. Lee Macqeen, Lee Way Consultancy Services, New Delhi, and Sister Rani C.J., regional secretary, North Region, Fr. Gutierrez Rodriguez Martin Igancio, provincial superior, Scalabrini Congregation, Asia-Pacific Region Father Tran Thien Nguyen, Rector, Scalabrini Formation House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, were speakers for the meetings.
Father Antony Thurthy, the Regional Deputy Secretary of the North Region, ended the meeting with a vote of thanks.
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