The Viatorian Community already is committed to welcoming immigrants, especially those released from detention, and walking with them as they access their legal rights.

Now, they know they are in good company.

In his Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, released Sept. 23, Pope Francis said all Christians must recognize Jesus Christ in migrants and refugees, and welcome them with “respect and solidarity.”

“The mission of the Church, herself a pilgrim in the world and the Mother of all, is thus to love Jesus Christ, to adore and love him, particularly in the poorest and most abandoned,” Pope Francis said. “Among these are certainly migrants and refugees, who are trying to escape difficult living conditions and dangers of every kind.”

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees dates back to 1914, having been established under Pope St. Pius X. It will be commemorated on January 18, 2015, with this theme: “Church without frontiers, Mother to all.”

“Solidarity with migrants and refugees must be accompanied by the courage and creativity necessary to develop, on a world-wide level,” Pope Francis added, “a more just and equitable financial and economic order, as well as an increasing commitment to peace, the indispensable condition for all authentic progress.”

Read the complete text of Pope Francis’ statement, here.