The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, choked up as he opened a press conference on June 15 by recalling the journey of his grandfather.
Speaking before the media for the conclusion of Caritas Internationalis’ “Share the Journey” campaign, Cardinal Tagle paused for a moment while remembering the start of his maternal grandfather’s migrant story as he expressed his sympathy for millions of displaced people due to violent conflicts, poverty, human trafficking and environmental disasters.
“These refugees reminded me of my migrant roots. In them, I saw my grandfather who was born in China, but was forced to leave his homeland as a young boy with his uncle for the Philippines in search of a better future,” he emotionally said.
Cardinal Tagle, who will turn 64 on June 21, was a son of Manuel Tagle, a native Tagalog, and Milagros Gokim, a Chinese Filipino.
The prefect emphasized that while Caritas’ 4-year awareness campaign would end on June 20, “Share the Journey” will continue as a call for everyone to continue sharing the journey with migrants, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
“At the time when COVID-19 should lead to global solidarity and, at the same time, when states are more concerned with protecting their own citizens with the risk of intensifying selfishness and the fear of strangers, the end of Caritas Internationalis’ global campaign is a call to continue to share the journey with migrants, especially at this most difficult time. The campaign formally ends but the mission continues,” Tagle said.
The “Share the Journey” campaign was launched on September 27, 2017, by His Holiness Pope Francis to urge the faithful to extend a hand to all migrants and refugees.
Cardinal Tagle – the Archbishop Emeritus of Manila – has been the president of Caritas Internationalis since 2015. (Lem Leal Santiago/SOCOM-Binondo Church)