This week in Hungary, Father Willie Purcell of Ossory, and Sister Breege Keenan (pictured), are representing Bishop Michael Duignan and the Council for Immigrants of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, at a meeting of the National Directors for the Pastoral Care of Migrants in Europe. The gathering is taking place in Szombathely, on the theme: ‘Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay.’ This theme was promoted by Pope Francis for the 109th World Migrant and Refugee Day.
Ahead of the gathering Father Purcell said, “our meeting brings together key representatives from every bishops’ conference in Europe who work for the care of migrants. It is vital that we share our pastoral experiences in terms of how we are responding to the crisis of migration in our own countries. In particular, as the number of migrants coming to our dioceses and parishes increases, this event offers us an opportunity to reflect on how to effectively meet the growing needs of our migrant parishioners.”
Father Purcell concluded, “In meeting with delegates from around Europe, we can share practical ways of reaching out to our migrant brothers and sisters, while learning from each other about Christian best practice in migrant care.”