+ Refugee and Migrant Sunday – A Parish Recognition
Dear friends – Recently, with the assistance of our parish representatives (Kay and Carol) on the Mountains Deanery Council (Deanery = region of parishes), we formed a connection with ‘Jesuit Refugee Service’ and ‘The House of Welcome’ – both being special supports in our diocese to help us develop our understanding of and connection with refugees and asylum seekers. This weekend marks the World Day of Migrants and Refugees – the 106th in fact! And this blog post is a parish recognition of that important theme of Christian awareness and faith response. The image of the lady on the train tracks, on the cover of this blog post (image credit: Unsplash), reminds us that refugees are from many and varied demographics – and many situations of fear and oppression in our world. Let’s continue to commit as a people of faith, to learn of people’s stories in our nation and world – and reflect on how those stories connect with our dignity of sharing in God’s mission – as The Body of Christ.
-A short piece from Pope Francis’ message for this Day of Migrants and Refugees – plus the link to his full and most helpful, formative message
-Theme image for 2020
-A short video of refugees chatting – including our own bishop
-A short vatican video showing Pope Francis presenting his message along with comments from Ignacio of Nicaragua
-A powerful prayer from Pope Francis for us to pray reflectively – perhaps with a friend, sibling, family or partner.
HERE’S A RELEVANT SHORT PIECE FROM POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE!
You have to know in order to understand. Knowledge is a necessary step towards understanding others. Jesus himself tells us this in the account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus: “While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognising him” (Lk 24:15-16). When we talk about migrants and displaced persons, all too often we stop at statistics. But it is not about statistics, it is about real people! If we encounter them, we will get to know more about them. And knowing their stories, we will be able to understand them. We will be able to understand, for example, that the precariousness that we have come to experience as a result of this pandemic is a constant in the lives of displaced people.
YOU CAN ACCESS THE WHOLE MESSAGE FROM POPE FRANCIS – which contains really formative thoughts and themes – using the following link:
HERE IS THE THEME AND IMAGE FOR THIS SPECIAL DAY OF FOCUS
SHORT VIDEO – REFUGEES CHATTING – INCLUDING OUR BISHOP
3 MINUTE VIDEO FROM POPE FRANCIS AND IGNACIO FROM NICARAGUA
PRAYER FROM POPE FRANCIS’ – THROUGH ST JOSEPH
You might like to pray this slowly and reflectively – perhaps with a friend, partner, sibling or family…
Father, you entrusted to Saint Joseph what you held most precious: the child Jesus and his Mother, in order to protect them from the dangers and threats of the wicked.
Grant that we may experience his protection and help. May he, who shared in the sufferings of those who flee from the hatred of the powerful, console and protect all our brothers and sisters driven by war, poverty and necessity to leave their homes and their lands to set out as refugees for safer places.
Help them, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, to find the strength to persevere, give them comfort in sorrows and courage amid their trials.
Grant to those who welcome them some of the tender love of this just and wise father, who loved Jesus as a true son and sustained Mary at every step of the way.
May he, who earned his bread by the work of his hands, watch over those who have seen everything in life taken away and obtain for them the dignity of a job and the serenity of a home.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, whom Saint Joseph saved by fleeing to Egypt, and trusting in the intercession of the Virgin Mary, whom he loved as a faithful husband in accordance with your will. Amen.
May we continue to grow in our understanding as we listen to the stories of brothers and sisters in the world – and as we reflect as a parish community on our continuing share in God’s mission and desire – that all people will be one.
With friendship in God’s mission,