Archbishop's Message: Prayer, solidarity, Christian charity
In our local context, it is a very real situation in Singapore today where every other person we encounter on a daily basis is likely to be a foreigner. Political, economic or social conditions have forced him or her to leave their country in search of better prospects abroad.
This search for better living conditions or the flight from persecution, war, violence, hunger or natural disasters, has led to an unprecedented mingling of individuals and peoples within local communities.
With this present flux of movement however, not only have unprecedented new problems such as overcrowding come into focus but also many ethical, religious and spiritual issues have been thrown up. As Singaporeans, we are called to be sensitive in offering support to our many sisters and brothers who, having fled from poverty or violence, have to face new lifestyles and the difficulty of integration.
Indeed, the widespread prevalence of migration today offers a providential opportunity for the proclamation of the Gospel. Men and women from various regions of the earth may or may not have encountered Christ or only know Him only partially. As such, it is necessary to find adequate ways to embrace them into the fold.
As a Church, we are faced with the challenge of helping migrants remain faithful even when deprived of the cultural support that existed in their country of origin.
“Migration and the New Evangelisation” is the theme for this year and it arises from the aforesaid situation. The present times call upon the Church to embark even more fully on a new evangelisation in the advent of this human mobility – it necessitates an intensification of evangelisation.
We ourselves are beseeched to be nourished with the Word ourselves to be better servants of the Gospel in the work of evangelisation in these increasingly diversified and demanding climes of new and uncertain mingling of peoples and cultures.
At the parish level, ACMI (Archdiocese Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People) is planning to reach out to all parishes by inviting and encouraging them to start their own Parish Migrant Ministries in the coming months, hence furthering the Church’s mission of evangelisation.
As such, Christian communities are encouraged to pay special attention to all migrants and their families by accompanying them with prayer, solidarity and Christian charity while promoting respect and dignity of every human person with regards to their housing, work and welfare and their smooth integration with the rest of society.
Therefore on this occasion of Migrant Sunday, let our joyful proclamation of the salvation of Jesus Christ bring hope, relief and joy to the hearts of those who live among us on foreign land.
Yours in Christ,
Archbishop Nicholas Chia