Some 300 area faithful joined in prayer on Sept. 23 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Philadelphia ahead of the 105th annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be observed on Sept. 29.

In his 2019 message for the observance, Pope Francis has stressed that immigration “is about all of us,” and has called on all people of good will to affirm the human dignity of the 71 million people currently displaced throughout the world.

At the Sept. 23 service, which was organized by the Archdiocese, several migrants and refugees shared their experiences in fleeing torture, persecution and disaster. Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Deliman, who presided at the gathering, said immigration is “a moral quagmire that begs for a just solution, and for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

(Related: Read our feature story on the Sept. 23 Archdiocesan prayer service for the 2019 World Day for Migrants and Refugees.)

(All photos by Sarah Webb.)