Online Prayer Retreat for Migrants and Refugees

Photo by Kira Horvath for CRS

Welcome to your 10-minute, self-guided online retreat! We invite you to minimize distractions to be fully present as you reflect on the impact of the migration and refugee crisis on 80 million people who have been forcibly displaced worldwide.

Take a moment to quiet your heart and mind. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. Acknowledge God’s presence in this moment and invite him to open your heart during this experience.


Opening Prayer

Lord God, thank you for allowing us to spend this time with you and in solidarity with our sisters and brothers on the move around the world. Please open our minds that we may better understand the plight of those who have been forced to migrate or flee their homes. Open our hearts that we may be moved to compassion and action to support those in search of safety and opportunity. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Wandering in the Desert: Encountering the Refugee

Much like the Israelites wandering from camp to camp in the wilderness for 40 years, refugees often move from place to place seeking safety, shelter and stability. Reflect on these passages from the Old Testament and images of the work being done by Catholic Relief Services and our partners with displaced families. Consider the thoughts and emotions you experience during this time.



  • How did reading the Scripture passages make you feel as you moved through the video?
  • What did the photos express to you?
  • Which photo most resonated with you and why?


The Meaning of Home: A Syrian Refugee’s Story

Home looks different for each person, but the meaning is the same across cultures—a place of refuge and safety, welcoming and belonging. While you watch this video, think about what home means to you and what it means to Fatima and her family in their new community.




  • In the video, Fatima shares, “When we left our home and came to a different country, I felt as if you took a tree out with its roots and put it somewhere else. It will either live or die.” What is needed for someone who has been uprooted to be successful in a new community?
  • What would you need to thrive if you were displaced to a foreign land?
  • How can you provide a sense of home for refugees and migrants in your community and for those around the world?



Jesus answered him, 'Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.'
— Luke 9:58


Closing Prayer

Lord, you understand what it feels like to be a foreigner, to be unwelcomed, to be scorned. Help us welcome into our hearts and communities all who are displaced from their homes, that we may encounter you in them. We pray for all migrants and refugees, that they find safety, belonging and love in their new homes, and the strength and opportunity to begin again.


How to Help Migrants and Refugees

Your voice is needed to help migrants and refugees who are especially vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. Urge your members of Congress to support foreign aid in the 2022 federal budget so our displaced sisters and brothers will have access to necessities like clean water, food, medical care and shelter.