The Commission for Migrants in collaboration with the Delhi Catholic Archdiocesan Migrants Commission and Sacred Heart Cathedral organised a spiritual get-together in New Delhi on September 24, on the occasion of the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
For this year, the Migrants’ Commission gathered around 300 Burmese Catholic Refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) of Manipur and the Migrants in New Delhi.
Father Swami Nathan, the parish priest of Sacred Heart, welcomed the refugees and asked his community to pray for them.
The majority of refugees upheld their culture and traditions by wearing their traditional attire.
After the Holy Mass, a short program was held at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School, where some of the refugees shared their ordeal of migration to India amidst violence in their homeland.
According to Mr. Augustin from the Catechist of the Burmese Catholic Community, most of them simply have documentation that they are seeking asylum because the UNHCR did not grant them refugee status.
Ms. Maria from Myanmar shared that due to the war and violence in Myanmar, she fled to India. She narrated stories of violence and unemployment of her people.
Participants in the celebration said they felt a sense of belonging to the Catholic Church.
The Archdiocese of Delhi has assured the refugees that they will do whatever they can to help them with their healthcare and education.
Archbishop Victor Henry Thakur of Raigarh Archdioce, and the Chairman of the Commission for Migrants along with Fr. Jaison Vadassry the Executive Secretary of the same Commission issued a circular regarding the dissemination of Pope Francis' message on the International Day for Migrants and Refugees.
The message has been translated into ten regional languages so that people of all backgrounds can understand what the Pope has written.
The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) since 1914.
For the Commission for Migrants, it is an occasion to express concern for different vulnerable people on the move and survivors of human trafficking, to pray for them as they face many challenges, and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.- Rani Punnaserril
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.