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Vatican announces theme for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

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IMAGE: CNS photo/Khalil Ashawi, Reuters

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For the next World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis wants Catholics to focus on the pastoral care of people displaced within the borders of their own country and the church’s mission to serve them.

The Vatican celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2020 will be celebrated Sept. 29, the Vatican said, and the pope’s choice for a theme is: "Forced like Jesus Christ to flee."

The theme "provides a Christological grounding for the Christian action of welcome or hospitality," said a March 6 statement from the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

Special attention will be given to "the pastoral care of internally displaced persons (IDPs), who currently number over 41 million worldwide," the Vatican said.

In the lead-up to the event, the dicastery said the theme will be divided into "six sub-themes expressed by six pairs of verbs: to know in order to understand; to draw near so as to serve; to listen in order to reconcile; to share and thus to grow; to involve in order to promote; and finally, to collaborate and therefore to build."

To encourage support and prepare for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the dicastery also said it would develop resources and a communication campaign to support the event.

"Each month, information, reflections, and multimedia aids will be offered as means of exploring and expressing the theme chosen this year by the Holy Father," the statement said.

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju

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