Pope Francis calls us to “share the journey” of migrants, refugees

October 2, 2017 Rod Hochman

At Providence St. Joseph Health, we are rooted in a tradition that calls us to show love and compassion for each person we encounter, especially the poor and vulnerable. This includes migrants and refugees who have fled their homes to escape war, persecution and grinding poverty.

With more than 65 million displaced individuals around the world, we are facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in history. Rather than avert our eyes or allow the fear of “foreigners” to reign in our hearts, we have a responsibility to do our part and be a beacon of hope.

As the Catholic social teachings remind us, “We are one human family. … We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world.”

That is why Providence St. Joseph Health is proud to participate in Share the Journey. Pope Francis launched this global campaign last week, Sept. 27, asking the world to welcome and get to know migrants and refugees in our local communities.

The purpose is to dispel global fear by hearing the stories of those who have fled their homes and understand the reasons behind the mass movement of people around the world. Providence St. Joseph Health is observing the campaign in a number of ways.

  • We are making stories and reflections available on our Intranets for caregivers to use if they wish to learn and contemplate more about the journey of migrants and refugees.
  • Share the Journey has designated Oct. 7-13 as a week of prayer. We encourage our regions to plan reflections and other activities to stand in solidarity with those who have fled their homes.
  • In December, we will begin a quarterly speaker series to help us get to know our migrant and refugee neighbors, as well as organizations that are responding to the call to support them. If you would like to receive notifications about this series, sign up here to join our email list.
  • We are sharing volunteer opportunities to work with these populations on our Volunteers in Partnership website. (At this time, this website is only available to Providence Health & Services caregivers and affiliates.)

I am inspired every day by caregivers across Providence St. Joseph Health because I know how much everyone in our organization resonates with the call to love our neighbors and reach out to the most vulnerable members of society. I hope all of you will join us on this journey of rising above fear so we can create a more loving, connected world.

As Sr. Mary Lou Kownacki of the Benedictine Order once said, “It’s impossible not to love someone whose story you’ve heard." Let’s take the time to hear these stories and get to know those who are crossing borders in search of safety, security and a better life for themselves and their families.

Learn more about Share the Journey.

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