13 august, 2008
The Most Rev. Kamwenho, Archbishop of Lubango, Angola, presided over the August 12/13 Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fatima, which coincided with the Pilgrimage of the Migrant and the Refugee.
At the International Mass on the morning of the 13th, prayers were said, during the Prayer of the Faithful, “for the migrants and their families, that the Lord may always be at their side so that they may overcome the material and spiritual obstacles and difficulties they will encounter”.
In his homily, Archbishop Kamwenho underlined the importance of paying attention to the phenomena causing the migratory flows.
This is what he said: “True religion – in the context of this International Migrant and Refugee Pilgrimage – requires that we pay attention to the phenomena causing emigrations, such as climatic changes on the planet, poverty, political intolerance or – as the Pope says in his message for this occasion – that we pay attention “to the process of globalization going on right now in the world, which presupposes a mobility that impels also numerous youths to emigrate and live far away from their families and countries”. We all know the consequences of such situations, of which the greatest is the so-called “difficulty of double belonging”, which leads the youths, if they do not find help in their own communities nor, sometimes, in the Social Institutions, to abandon their most sacred values”.
On his turn, in his homily during the Vigil Mass of the 12th, the Most Rev. António Vitalino Dantas, Bishop of Beja and President of the Bishops Committee for Human Mobility, tried to sensitize the faithful for a good reception of the immigrants, by focusing on the Christian roots characterizing the hospitality of the European Continent. This is what he had to say:
It were the Christian values, personified in Christ – Master, Savior and Lord – that brought about the true unity of Europe, even when it had to overcome serious crises, wars and conflicts. Fátima was a high water-mark in this history, when the Lady of the Message transmitted to the Little Shepherds the fundamental values of the Gospel – conversion and prayer – so that there be peace between the nations. This old Europe needs to be reminded today of its Christian roots and of its obligation to practice hospitality, of the need to open up its gates and help the children of poor countries arriving at its borders, not as evildoers, but as persons equal to us in dignity, looking for work and living conditions better than in their countries of origin, as did and continue to do so many Europeans throughout the world.”