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Caritas begins two-year campaign, “Share the Journey” for migrants and refugees

“Share the Journey,” a campaign by Caritas, was launched by Pope Francis in front of thousands in St. Peter's Square on September 27. The mission is to ask the world to “open their arms” to the possibility of accompanying migrants on their journey. 

At a Holy See press conference, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the president of Caritas Internationalis, spoke of the importance of this mission and his own experience coming from a migrant family. 

President, Caritas Internationalis
"So through the culture of encounter, we hope that there will be some sort of a conversion of mind. Many people are afraid of migrants. Some of them have not even encountered a single migrant. Hopefully, we could invite the leaders to meet a migrant. Get the hand of a migrant. Smell a migrant. Listen to their stories and you will see that they are like you and me, they are not really 'other'. Whenever I meet a migrant, I'm reminded of my grandfather, who migrated from China as a poor boy and came to the Philippines. Who would think that he would produce a cardinal grandson?”

The common theme spreading amongst those promoting the campaign is the idea that each person should “encounter” a refugee and break the prejudices surrounding them.

Caritas Internationalis
"The objective may seem really simple, almost trivial. The gesture is really important, the gesture to 'reach out.' The sign of welcome we really want to give to the potential encounter that everyone can have, but that is sometimes blocked by a sense of fear and a sense of prejudice.”

Head of Caritas Italy's migration office
“It is clear that this campaign was not created casually, out of nothing. It was created from a story that I have here and that I see today, which worries us all. It is the growth of a feeling, which is hostile confrontation of our migrant and refugee brothers.”

This campaign is now calling all communities and world leaders throughout the world to help. Caritas says this campaign is not only facing a “migration crisis, but a crisis of global solidarity,” thus requiring action from everyone.