More than 1,000 migrants attend Migrant Sunday event

Migrants from countries such as Myanmar, Indonesia and India presenting gifts during the Migrant Sunday Mass.Migrants from countries such as Myanmar, Indonesia and India presenting gifts during the Migrant Sunday Mass.

The Migrant Sunday celebration organised recently by the Church here represented “unity for all the races”, said Ms Rhodora, 51. “Everybody cheered for each other,” said the Filipino domestic worker, “we feel like we belong”.

Ms Rhodora was one of more than 1,000 migrant workers who gathered at the Church of Divine Mercy on Sept 27 to celebrate Migrant Sunday, a yearly Church event to honour migrants.

It was organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI) together with the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP).

SSVP also provided bus transport for migrants from parishes to the venue.

The communities represented during the celebration included the Chinese, German, Filipino, Indonesian, Malayalam, Myanmar, Sri Lankan, Tamil and Vietnamese communities.

In his homily, Archbishop William Goh urged locals not to see migrants as competitors but as people who “have something to share”.

“Through migration, there is an enrichment of tradition and culture,” he said.

He also encouraged those gathered to respect the principles of integration, complementarity and inclusivity.

“Migrants must be integrated with the customs and with the laws of the people,” he said. “The host country has the duty of hospitality, the duty to welcome migrants and make them feel at home.”

Concelebrating the Mass with Archbishop Goh were priests of the parish, Fr Johnson Fernandez and Fr Terence Kesavan, and the chaplains of some of the migrant communities.

After Mass, SSVP provided free meals to participants as the various migrant communities performed cultural song and dance items.

When asked about what the celebration of Migrant Sunday meant to them, Ms Thuong, 40, a Vietnamese finance administrator, said: “This day is for us migrants to celebrate and interact with other communities, to know more about one another in terms of tradition and culture.”

Ms Patricia, 34, an accountant from Myanmar, shared that she enjoyed “getting to know more about other nationalities and seeing their beautiful performances”.

By Jared Ng
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