CNA Staff, Sep 16, 2020 / 02:45 pm (CNA) – The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is inviting Catholics to join in a novena and to watch Masses online this weekend in preparation for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

“This has been another challenging year for our immigrant community, made more complicated
by the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Archbishop José Gomez.

“I am really looking forward to this time for us to come together as one family of God, even if it
can only be virtually this year, to pray and share God’s love and compassion.”

Catholics are invited to participate in a Sept. 18-26 novena meant as spiritual preparation for the 2020 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, observed Sept. 27.

Catholics are invited also to watch Gomez celebrate Masses via livestream Sept. 20, at 7am PT in Spanish and 10am PT in English.

The Masses and prayers in Los Angeles are part of the archdiocese’ Day in Recognition of All Immigrants, which it has held annually since 2013.

Each year, celebration includes a 60-mile walking pilgrimage tracing the path St. Junipero Serra walked as he founded the first nine mission churches of California.

This year, the pilgrimage begins Sept. 21. Because of the pandemic, the pilgrimage leader, Don Antonio, is set to walk the route alone, but the archdiocese is encouraging Catholics to join the pilgrimage virtually.

The festivities will also include a testimony delivered by a 16-year old immigrant who entered the US as an unaccompanied minor to reunite with her mother in Los Angeles. Her family sought asylum in the U.S. due to violent crimes against them in their home country, the archdiocese said.

The archdiocese is urging donations to Catholic Charities Los Angeles to support migrant and refugee aid in the city.

Internally displaced persons are the topic of Pope Francis’ message for the 2020 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, published May 15, in which the pope said the situation of internally displaced persons is an “often unseen tragedy that the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated.”