Social Justice Week
"Welcoming others means welcoming God in person! Do not let yourselves be robbed of the hope and joy of life born of your experience of God’s mercy, as manifested in the people you meet on your journey!"
Pope Francis, Message for the World Day of Migrants and refugees, 2016
Today, migration is changing our world in ways that we cannot ignore. In 2015 the number of persons living in a country other than where they were born reached 244 million for the world as a whole, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2000.
Some migrants are forced to leave their home to escape persecution and violence, others choose to leave their own country in search of better opportunities for themselves and for their family. Global inequality and conflict drive many to seek a better life in other countries.
During Social Justice Week in 2016, we invited everyone to consider “what is my migration story?” and “how are we fostering a culture of encounter?”
Human dignity, solidarity and common good are the principles upon which we must treat our migrant brothers and sisters. Migration provides an opportunity for enriching contact among cultures and civilisations. Yet it can also be an isolating experience for migrants, and misunderstandings can arise between people of different cultures and backgrounds.
Resources for Social Justice Week 2016
In 2016, we created content which supports parishes to include the theme of We all have a migration story: Fostering a culture of encounter in the Social Justice Week Sunday celebration.
We all have a migration story: Fostering a culture of encounter “Welcoming others means welcoming God in person! Do not let yourselves be robbed of the hope and joy of life born of your experience of God’s mercy, as manifested in the people you meet on your journey!” – Pope Francis
Each year in September, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference give us Social Justice Week to consider Catholic social teaching on an issue of social justice in New Zealand. In 2016, the theme for parishes was We all have a migration story: Fostering a culture of encounter.
Social Justice Week videos looking at what it means to be a welcoming community and parish. These videos are 3-4 minutes long.
In 2016, we listened and talked with migrant workers and people who have supported migrants in the Wellington Archdiocese about their experiences of working in New Zealand. We heard their joys and their struggles, cases of unfair treatment and exploitation, as well as when they found justice.
In particular we were interested in how the Church community and government policies can be supportive to migrant workers and ensure that they feel welcomed and are able to get help when they do face unfair treatment at work.
The report was released on 8 September 2016 in the lead up to Social Justice Week and is available online.