Saturday, January 12, 2013

National Migration Week: St. Juan Diego, pray for us!

Before it ends, I'd like to call attention to National Migration Week.

Begun more than 25 years ago by the U.S. Conference of Bishops, National Migration Week is observed in dioceses throughout the country from Jan. 6-12 as an opportunity for Catholics to grow in their appreciation for the Church’s universality.

 The theme for 2013's migration week is “We are Strangers No Longer: Our Journey of Hope Continues.”

This year's National Migration Week observance and theme commemorate the 10th anniversary of the historic joint pastoral letter of the United States and Mexico bishops conferences, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope

In the words of the USCCB:
This theme reminds us of our responsibility as Catholics to help newcomers integrate in ways that are respectful, culturally sensitive and responsive to social needs, and of the ongoing need for comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform.

A Prayer to St. Juan Diego

St. Juan Diego, our first saint from the Americas, pray for us.
We ask God the Father 
to pour forth the protecting love of his Spirit upon all migrants, 
taking special heed of those in need of support, 
who are isolated or separated from their native lands, 
whether by choice or necessity. 
St. Juan Diego, 
intercede for those torn away from their families in pursuit of work 
that they may be reunited: husbands with wives and parents with children.
As the Virgin of Guadalupe promised you 
her compassionate prayers for the poor of Mexico, 
so now raise your merciful pleading 
for migrant women and children 
who are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of human tra  cking. 
Seek for them protection from all evil.
May we, O Blessed Juan Diego, receive through your prayers, 
the grace to welcome with love to our country 
all migrants who seek a home in our parishes and communities.
And we ask that you join your prayers to those of Our Lady, 
who appeared to you as your Mother and as Mother of all in our land. 
May she wrap her mantle of protection around all migrant people. 
We beg for her love, compassion, help, and protection on all immigrants 
who today experience great su erings, sorrows, necessities, and misfortunes.
In the shared power of Christ 
and the union of the Holy Spirit, 
we say: Amen.

Important notice: 
be sure to read this Sunday's blog post in Day by Day, a Q&A with author Mary DeTurris Poust on the spirituality of food and her new book, Cravings.  
And -- you could win a copy of her book, as well as enter to win a $100 Williams Sonoma gift card!