HomeDiocesan ReportsChurch leaders, laypeople urged to join hands to serve migrants, refugees

Church leaders, laypeople urged to join hands to serve migrants, refugees

Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao said overseas Filipino workers deserve respect for the sacrifices they’ve made

A Catholic bishop has urged priests, the religious and the lay people to “join hands” in solidarity with the Filipino migrant workers and their families.

Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao said overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) deserve respect for the sacrifices they’ve made not only for their families but also for the nation.

“Let us bind ourselves together in the common task of serving our brothers and sisters who are migrants, OFWs, seafarers, refugees, and all those who need our support, as they seek to better their lives and the lives of those around them,” Bishop Ongtioco said.

The bishop made the call in his homily during Mass to mark the 35th National Migrants’ Sunday at the Cubao Cathedral on September 26.




The celebration carried the theme “Towards an Ever Wider We,” in line with the celebration of the Vatican’s 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Bishop Ongtioco urged the faithful to honor the OFWs “by doing what they do, stepping out of ourselves and contributing our own share to widen as far as we can our common one, our solidarity with one another, our common we.”

“If you want to find an embodiment of that ‘wider we’, look on the lives of our migrant brothers and sisters… you don’t have to look farther,” he said.

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With this year’s theme, the bishops’ Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) said that people are reminded “to be inclusive” especially “in our human relationships”.

“‘Towards an ever wider we’ exhorts us to tear down the wall between the ‘we/us’ and the ‘they/them’,” said Bishop Narciso Abellana of Romblon, head of ECMI.

“Many times, we are afraid of diversity; however, diversity can enrich us. Thus, diversity should even be welcome,” he said.

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