Pope Francis, in his 2018 message for the World day of Migrants and Refugees, invites us to "welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrant and refugees".
These are concrete actions that the Diocese of Montreal chose to live through the private sponsorship of refugees program, the opening of a welcome center for refugee claimants, the support of temporary agricultural workers, and of all migrants who ask for help at different levels.
Nowadays, the migratory flows are constantly increasing all around the world. Migrants and refugees flee their country, which challenges individuals and collectivities, and their traditional way of life, turning the social and cultural environment to which they are confronted.
WELCOMING migrants and refugees, without considering their migratory status, ethnicity, country of origin or religion. Greeting them with respect, in a friendly manner so that they feel at home. Welcoming them in the recognition of their dignity, culture, history.
PROMOTING the fundamental rights and freedoms of migrants and refugees, while supporting them to fully accomplish as a person, within all human dimensions, starting with the freedom of religion and religious practices, while looking for housing or employment.
PROTECTING these migrants and refugees who are very vulnerable. Many flee their country where their lives are in danger. Once they are here, the legal process to become recognized as refugees starts, which can take months, even years. In the mean time, we have to protect them against any form of exploitation or discrimination.
integrating, meaning including and encouraging the encounter with the host country. The contact with the volunteers fosters the intercultural exchanges opportunities, and stimulates the inclusion, dialogues, knowledge, learning the language and integration of the children.