World Refugee Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is one who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.” The Catholic Church has for decades taken seriously the plight of these vulnerable refugees and through advocacy, education efforts, and service provision sought to provide increased protections for them.
These efforts take place on the international level through the hard work of Catholic organizations like Catholic Relief Services and Jesuit Relief Service, who provide support in camps and communities across the world to refugees. It takes place domestically, here in the United States, through Catholic Charities and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Both organizations advocate for further protections and provide support for newly arriving refugees.
Please download and use the World Refugee Day 2018 Toolkit from the USCCB for use in your parishes and local community! This is an opportunity in our parishes to "Be Golden"
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Associate Director, Adult Faith Formation