Today, across the globe, at the call of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, we begin a two year campaign to holding up the stories of immigrants and refugees throughout the world. During this time, we hope that we can build a culture of welcome and encounter.
The following Migration Symbols were a part of the Share the Journey Mass held on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at the Cathedral Basilica in Santa Fe.
Shoes- Our shoes protect our feet, feet that travel many, many miles when we have to leave our homeland for fear for our lives in search of safety, feet that ache with blisters and sores from the rigorous journey. We are reminded that our feet stand on Holy Ground.
Life Jacket- No one can forget the image of that little Syrian boy washed up on the Turkish beach in 2015. He and his family were fleeing violence in Syria trying to reach Europe, and were likely the victims of human smuggling.
Water Jug- These water jugs come from the border area in Southern New Mexico where they are the lifeline for migrants in the dry, harsh desert. Many die alone in the desert before they reach their hoped for destination.
Backpack- Often, migrants flee with only the clothing on their back and whatever they can put in a tiny backpack. They leave behind everything they know, all their earthly possession for an uncertain future.
Piece of Fence- This small piece of fence represents all the ways in which we “fence out” those in need. This reminds us that instead of fences and walls, we need to be bridge builders, people of “encounter.”
Globe- This globe shows us we are one human family. We are all connected with our brothers and sisters across the world.
Image of Our Lady holding the globe (Mary, Most Holy, Mother of All Nations-Fr Bill McNichols, SJ): This beautiful icon reminds us we are in the care of God, and our Mother Mary.