Dear People of the Diocese of Owensboro,
Today, September 27, 2017, Pope Francis is officially launching the worldwide, year-long “Share the Journey” campaign. This campaign is sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA and the Church’s global charitable network, Caritas Internationalis.
The launch of this global campaign is to support our brothers and sisters who have fled their homes seeking a decent and safe life for their families. This historic campaign will respond to some of the most desperate of God’s children, including some of those in our own Diocese, and your involvement and inspiration is needed.
The extent of the problem sparking this campaign is enormous. Individuals and families often make dangerous passages, leaving their homeland because they are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict, poverty, persecution and violence. There are more refugees, and internally displaced people now, over 65 million, than at any other time in recorded history.
Our faith calls for us to “love our neighbor,” to see Christ in those who are in greatest need, and to welcome newcomers seeking the security, peace, and opportunity they cannot find in their home countries.
In advocating on behalf of migrants, immigrants and refugees, it is important to note that the Catholic position is based on Catholic social teaching, which derived from the Gospels and the words of Christ, statements and encyclicals of the popes, and statements and pastoral letters of Bishops around the world and in the US. In Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope written in 2003, the bishops of the U.S. and Mexico wrote: “Our common faith in Jesus Christ moves us to search for ways that favor a spirit of solidarity. It is a faith that transcends borders and bids us to overcome all forms of discrimination and violence so that we may build relationships that are just and loving.”
Pope Francis said in an address to a joint meeting of the US Congress on September 24, 2015: “Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”
I invite you to learn more about and get involved in the “Share the Journey” global migration campaign at www.sharejourney.org.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend William F. Medley
Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro