Migrants in Taiwan have been faithfully journeying during this year of faith in a crooked and slippery road. Some stumbled, others felt tired, and some others lost their way but at the end of the day everyone got hold in a proper direction. OFWs had been tested by what had happened between Taiwan and the Philippines but now everything is fine.

Truly, Migration is a Pilgrimage of Faith and Hope. This year of faith is a year of going back to our root, to repropose Jesus and His teachings to ourselves and to open our lives to the prompting of the Spirit that guides our way. Faith and Hope are the only possessions we have when we embark into a life of uncertainty in the foreign lands. That's why the year of faith is a year to clearly understand our purpose of leaving behind somebody dear to us and pursue our goal accompanied by the light of faith and inspired by our hope for a better tomorrow. Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, in his message for this year's Migrants' Sunday, asserts that "Faith and hope are often among the possessions which emigrants carry with them, knowing that with them, "we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey" (Spe Salvi,1).

This Year of Faith also the beginning of the Pontificate of Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His first journey with the migrants was when he visited Lampedusa, the island of refugees from Africa. In his homily, he stresses the "globalization of indifference" that was addressed to the powerful whose tasked is to protect the "least", particularly the powerless migrants whose desire is only to look for better lives abroad. The "globalization of indifference" is not only applicable to Lampedusa but to anywhere in the world where migrants are being used as commodities, a tool to pressure an economic sanction to sending countries, victims of human trafficking for the advancements of self / personal interests of the modern day slave traders. The message - Migration: A Pilgrimage of Faith and Hope is not only intended for the migrants themselves but also to the countries of destinations where the local people, particularly the brokers and the employers, need to reassess their own values as members of this human family. They also need to journey towards their inner values taught to them by the values of their faith and cultures.

Year of Faith in Taiwan will end on November 23 (Saturday), a day before Christ the King Sunday. As members of the universal Church, Catholic Migrants are invited to join the closing ceremony at Taipei Municipal Track and Field Stadium (3 Dun-hua North Road, Taipei) from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. I would like to enjoin all Diocesan Migrants' Coordinators and Chaplains to organize the migrant workers in your areas to participate in the closing ceremony of the year of faith. Please inform your Parish how many will be coming from the migrants' side. NT$ 100.00 is required from each participant to augment the expenses of the event. Participants will be allowed into the Stadium an hour or so prior to 1 pm.

See you there!

Fr. Eliseo Napiere, MSP
Executive Secretary
Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People