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    Church marks World Day of Migrants and Refugees

    By admin | January 15, 2007

    Yesterday was the Catholic Church’s 93rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and this year’s theme was “the migrant family”.

    √Čan Board Chair Rr Alan Hilliard gets prominent coverage in the Irish Times with remarks calling for the reunification of families. Fr Hilliard, who is also the secretary of the Irish Catholic bishop’s department of pastoral care, is quoted in the report as saying, “Immigration policy should be about people first. Migrants by their nature live far away from those they love. Often this is due to economic necessity, and this in turn can be compounded by restrictive immigration laws.”

    He adds, “Currently in Ireland there are over 100 Catholic religious services for the pastoral support of our immigrant communities. The provision of these religious services, which show respect for the language and customs of the immigrant, is an important initiative to cultivate a spirit of welcome and to facilitate the journey to integration.”

    Pope Benedict issued a statement to mark the day; it is available on the Vatican website.

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