Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Office of the Diocese of St. Augustine is partnering with several non-profit organizations and state agencies in hosting the 2017 World Refugee Day on Monday, June 19, at the Jacksonville Public Library, 303 N. Laura Street. This year’s theme is “Yesterday Refugees, Today Americans.”

The day will begin with a naturalization ceremony at 11:00 a.m. Florida’s Director of Refugee Services, Patti Grogan, will provide remarks during the ceremony. Afterwards there will be a volunteer award ceremony, and an art show consisting of three exhibits: Unseen Jax, handmade children’s masks, and photos of naturalized refugees.  A reception will follow at noon. All are welcome.

What is World Refugee Day? On June 19 people around the world will commemorate the strength and resilience of more than 63 million people forced to flee their homes due to war or human rights abuses.

By the end of 2015, there were 21.3 million refugees in the world, and more than 50 percent of them were under the age of 18. There are 34,000 people forced to flee their homes daily. The work of Catholic Charities and other organizations who help refugees is more important than ever.

Partnering with Catholic Charities in sponsoring World Refugee Day in Jacksonville are the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Children and Families, Jacksonville area Legal Aid, Jacksonville Public Library, Lutheran Social Services and World Relief Jacksonville.

For additional information, call Michelle Karolak at (904) 354-4846, ext. 226 or email mkarolak@ccbjax.org.