Rome (Italy). On 25 September 2022, the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) is celebrated, established by the Church in 1914 to bring the reality of migrants and refugees to the attention and prayer of the ecclesial and civil communities. It is an opportunity to demonstrate closeness to people on the move, to pray for them as they face many challenges, and to raise awareness of the opportunities offered by migration.

In preparation for the 108th WDMR, the Missions Sector of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, with formation and animation meetings diversified by continent (Asia/Pacific Region, Africa/ Europe, America), on 6/7 September for Provincial Coordinators of the Missions ad Gentes and on 8/9 September for the Missionaries ad Gentes, began to study the migratory phenomenon in depth.

Sr. Ruth del Pilar Mora, General Councilor for the Missions, and the Sector collaborators, have opted for a synodal style of involvement of Sisters and lay people engaged in the missionary animation of the various provinces, to become close to the concrete realities of the different parts of the world. The Global Mission Team was therefore formed, composed of an FMA Provincial Coordinator of the Missions ad gentes, and a lay person for each continent, with the task of preparing and animating animation and formation encounters, coordinated by the Sector.

The meetings of 6/7 and 8/9 September, characterized by lively participation both by the Provincial Coordinators of the Mission ad gentes, and by the Missionaries ad gentes, were enriched by the interventions of the Director General of the Migrants Foundation, Fr. Gianni De Robertis; by Delfina Licata, Sociologist; and by Cristina Molfetta, Cultural Anthropologist of the Pastoral Organ of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), who focused their attention on the migration problem.

Fr. De Robertis highlighted that the reality of migration is increasingly global and profoundly transforming societies as few other realities are doing, and how the latest Popes have repeatedly indicated it as a sign of the times, as a reality that is not only social, economic, political but also theological, in which God is at work, and that asks above all to be heard and interpreted.

The Director of Migrants helped the participants to reflect on Pope Francis’ Message for the 2022 Day on the theme “Building the future with migrants and refugees”. In particular, he highlighted how Pope Francis repeatedly reiterates the need to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate. He emphasized, “Migrants and refugees are not the recipients of our charity but they too offer an important contribution to our society and to the Church.”

Delfina Licata stressed the need for a cultural change in looking at the other and the importance of the silent work, tireless dedication, and sacrifice offered every day by missionaries around the world. Cristina Molfetta who mainly deals with asylum seekers, people who have to flee or lose their homes due to conflicts, wars, situations of instability, focused instead on the many wars and ‘forgotten’ crises present in the world.

At the end of each encounter, Sr. Nella Cutrali, FMA, Provincial Coordinator for the Missions ad Gentes of Mother Maddalena Morano Province (ISI), shared as a good practice, the significant experience of helping African refugees who since 2013, have been living with the Educating Community of Cammarata in the province of Agrigento (Italy). She testifies, “In recent years I have learned, together with the entire team, to accompany the young men in their search for work and social integration and therefore I have also proposed cultural activities, to contribute to foster a culture of welcome, a culture of encounter and solidarity, starting with the protection of human rights.”

Those who took turns in the various interventions, reiterated how essential it is to learn to ask yourself the right questions, to live the time of contemporaneity that is given as a precious asset, and how important it is to welcome the person into the reality of one’s life, to know and understand him/her deeply.

In the Message for WDMR 2022, Pope Francis invites a change of preposition, that is, a different way of approaching migrants, to move from what is done ‘for’ them to what is done ‘with’ them. “Building the Kingdom of God is with them, because without them, it would not be the Kingdom that God wants.”

The passage from ‘for’ to ‘with’ in society, as in the Church, in the Educating Communities, is the heart of the Mission ad gentes and of the synodal journey that is being followed. The World Day of Migrants and Refugees is an opportunity to strengthen and give a new missionary impetus to these convictions.

Links for materials and kits for the celebration of WDMR on 25 September 2022 in different languages:

“Dear brothers and sisters, and especially you, young people! If we want to cooperate with our Heavenly Father in building the future, let us do it together with our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters. Let’s build it today! Because the future begins today and begins with each of us” (Pope Francis).


  1. Gracias. Por El envio, hacemos fza de oracion, para acompanar con la oracion para sentirnos realmente hnos y hnas en un mismo camino de la Iglesia con corazon sinodal un abrazo. Sor Aida


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