Statement on Migrant and Refugee Day
“It is not just about migrants: it is about our humanity…
It is not just about migrants: it is a question of seeing that no one is excluded…
It is not just about migrants: it is about the whole person, about all people.
On the occasion of “World Day of Migrants and Refugees” it is important to recognize the present crisis is not a new phenomenon. For 105 years, from the beginning of the First World War in 1914, this annual plea on behalf of the plight of migrants and refugees has cried for a response. Many of our fellow citizens secure in their countries today, were once migrants and refugees. Likewise, there are members of our Lasallian family who have been or are today, migrants and refugees.
As the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, we are deeply committed to assisting migrants and refugees throughout the world. In the different corners of our Institute, our Lasallian Brothers, volunteers and Partners have found innovative solutions to promote migrants’ rights and integration, starting from the core of our mission: education.
Following this path, we have just launched the Beyond the Borders Initiatives, educational communities located in fragile and isolated contexts, in the five continents, designed to meet the needs of immigrants, refugees, homeless, unemployed youth, and all vulnerable people, especially children and youth that are found on “the borders.”
Therefore, As the General Council
of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools,
WE DECLARE THAT:
We stand with Pope Francis in the conviction “that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.”
We stand in support of those who because of political, economic, demographic, and environmental disruption are forced to flee their homeland seeking safety for their children and to live a life of dignity.
We stand with our Brothers, Lasallian Partners, students, parents and alumni who welcome migrants and refugees into their communities and educational institutions.
We stand with Brothers and Lasallians everywhere who collaborate with local, national and international organizations supporting migrants and refugees.
We stand with Brothers, Lasallians, Districts and Delegations that publicly advocate for the rights and protection of migrants and refugees.
We stand with Brothers and Lasallians who are building bridges and seeking solutions through dialogue and compassion for our human family.
We stand with the Church, religious congregations, governments and non-governmental organizations desiring to collaborate in providing formation and education to the millions of children and young people excluded from such opportunities today.
We invite all Districts, Delegations and local communities to initiate and/or strengthen clear commitments towards migrants and refugees. We do this through prayer, welcoming, listening, active collaboration with civil and Church organizations. We support, in particular, all Lasallians who are directly serving migrants and refugees through their ministry and personal commitments.
Brother Robert Schieler, FSC
And the members of the General Council