2022 Assembly


102nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 17th January 2016


Pope Francis shared his message to honour the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, on the 12th of September, 2015. His speech was entitled “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy,” which is especially apt in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Speaking of a time when migration continues unabated as people risk modern slavery and death in order to escape from war-torn countries, Pope Francis reminds us that “Today, more than in the past, the Gospel of mercy troubles our consciences, prevents us from taking the suffering of others for granted and points out ways of responding which, grounded in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, find practical expression in works of spiritual and corporal mercy.”
Acknowledging the challenges faced by refugees, migrants and host societies, Pope Francis places the importance of hospitality within the biblical context, as we are encouraged to offer welcome and sanctuary to those most in need of our help. In doing so, our encounter with migrants and refugees is truly an encounter with Christ himself.
In imparting his Apostolic blessing, Pope Francis entrust us to the Virgin Mary, Mother of migrants and refugees and to St. Joseph, who experienced the hardships of emigration first-hand in the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt.
Full address is available at: Messages World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

World Day of Peace, 1st January 2016


In his New Year address on the 1st of January, Pope Francis invites us to overcome indifference and make every effort to win peace in 2016. He encourages us to actively engage in the pursuit of justice and peace and to adopt an attitude of mutual responsibility so as to act in solidarity with our brothers and sisters.
While acknowledging that indifference is nothing new, Pope Francis calls each of us in this Year of Mercy, to “…make compassion, love, mercy and solidarity a true way of life, a rule of conduct in our relationships with one another” (5 (21)).
For full text, please see:
Pope Francis chooses 2016 World Peace Day theme
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Real Love Chases Away Fear, Greed & Slavery: Young Leaders Must Pave the Way


Youth Symposium at the Vatican, 7-8 November 2015
Youth Symposium at the Vatican, 7-8 November 2015

Mary Ward Loreto (MWL) attended the Symposium named “Real Love Chases Away Fear, Greed, and Slavery: Young Leaders Must Pave the Way”, held in the Vatican and led by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, from the 7th to the 8th of November, 2015. The MWL Women Assistant Manager, Irena Kraja, attended this symposium as an observer.
The aim of this event was to evaluate best practices in combating modern slavery, to create a global network of young people throughout the world, and to create a handbook on human trafficking and slavery.
Young people are considered as the main actors in combating Modern Slavery, now considered as a global emergency. They have been invited to commit themselves to eradicating these new forms of slavery.
Evaluate best practices to combat modern slavery
More than 70 participants from all over the world shared their experiences on the work achieved in the prevention of all kinds of human trafficking, the rehabilitation of victims who have survived human trafficking, and the sad realities of vulnerability related to modern slavery. Sister Eugenia Bonetti explained that the most vulnerable are young people who do not have opportunities for education or for employment opportunities in the future. This target group can be victims of false promises for a better future. We should work very hard on prevention!
Read more: Report from the Vatican Youth Symposium, 7-8 November 2015
Prepared by Irena Kraja, Mary Ward Loreto

International Symposium on Pastoral Care of Migrants and Street People in Vatican


From the 14th to the 17th of September, 2015, the Vatican held an International Symposium on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Street People.
Attendees sourced biblical foundation documents and Church Social Teaching in relation to street women and children. A plan of action emerged at the end of the Symposium as guidelines for the Church.
Panels of speakers from every continent, shared their experiences of working at ‘grass roots’ with migrants, street women and street children and their families.
Pope Francis met with the attendees, enforcing the message of human rights and dignity for all and encouraging them in their work.
Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM, shares a comprehensive report with us, which you can find here The International Symposium on Pastoral Care of Migrants and Street People_by Imelda Poole IBVM_September 2015
Sr. Gabriella Bottani, CMS, shares her speech about Woman’s Dignity and Talitha Kum here Womans Dignity and Talitha Kum_speech of Gabriella Bottani CMS_September 2015
Plan of Action_International Symposium on the Pastoral Care of the Road – the document is the final one achieved, as a plan of action for the Church, resulting from the work at the Symposium at the Vatican on street women and children.



Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace on 1st January 2015.
1. At the beginning of this New Year, which we welcome as God’s gracious gift to all humanity, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace to every man and woman, to all the world’s peoples and nations, to heads of state and government, and to religious leaders. In doing so, I pray for an end to wars, conflicts and the great suffering caused by human agency, by epidemics past and present, and by the devastation wrought by natural disasters. I pray especially that, on the basis of our common calling to cooperate with God and all people of good will for the advancement of harmony and peace in the world, we may resist the temptation to act in a manner unworthy of our humanity.
In my Message for Peace last year, I spoke of “the desire for a full life… which includes a longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced”.[1] Since we are by nature relational beings, meant to find fulfilment through interpersonal relationships inspired by justice and love, it is fundamental for our human development that our dignity, freedom and autonomy be acknowledged and respected. Tragically, the growing scourge of man’s exploitation by man gravely damages the life of communion and our calling to forge interpersonal relations marked by respect, justice and love. This abominable phenomenon, which leads to contempt for the fundamental rights of others and to the suppression of their freedom and dignity, takes many forms. I would like briefly to consider these, so that, in the light of God’s word, we can consider all men and women “no longer slaves, but brothers and sisters”.
Listening to God’s plan for humanity (…)
Full text available here: Pope’s Message for the World Day of Peace_01.01.2015
Source: The Holy See

Presentation of Pope’s Message for the World Day of Peace in Poland


The Catholic News Agency (KAI) in Poland presented the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace at the press conference on 10th December 2014. This media brief was organised in the venue of the Polish Episcopal Conference (KEP) and in paralel with a corresponding event at the Vatican.
Bishop Artur Miziński, General Secretary of KEP, spoke about the leading topic of the Pope’s message, which is slavery. Many people think that slavery is a thing of the past. In fact, this social plague remains all too real in today’s world. NO LONGER SLAVES, BUT BROTHERS AND SISTERS – says Pope Francis. And this is an inspiration for us all, for the coming year, 2015.
Professor Adam Glapiński, representative of the Monetary Policy Council (RPP), spoke about a paradigm shift in the economy which began in 2007, when the first symptoms of the world crisis appeared. It continues nowadays and urges us to look for the values in all that we do. Campaigning for profit and following the economy according to Adam Smith, is not a solution for today. It would be good to see the implementation of Catholic Social Teaching among businesses and entrepreneurs’, said Prof. Glapiński. And it is possible, there are good examples of it in Austria and Germany, he continued.
Mr. Piotr Mierecki, Director of the Unit against Trafficking in Human Beings at the Ministry of Interior, explained how the Polish state is coping with the problem of human trafficking. The scale of the phenomenon cannot be known precisely, due to its nature. Many cases remain hidden. However last year about 100 trials took place and as a result of this not less than 1000 persons were identified as victims of human trafficking in Poland.
Sr. Anna Bałchan, PoMOC Association and Member of RENATE, was one of the key speakers invited to this press conference. She gave testimony of her experience with the victims of human trafficking and domestic violence in the work which she has developed in Poland for 15 years. She emphasised the burnining problem of family crisis and broken relationships in the present day society, which makes people vulnerable and easy targets for the oppressors. Sr. Anna shared information on how her Association is going to respond to this. They are planning to build a development and care centre for children. This initiative willl involve adults from dysfunctional families and train them in parental skills. Many forget that a human being is created to be loved, not to be used, she said.
Video in Polish: Godziwa zapłata a problem handlu ludźmi