Refugees

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 As Interior ministers meet this week to discuss updating plans for the EU’s migration policies, Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe calls on European leaders to alter its restrictive approach to migration. Policies focused on deterrence, including the agreement with Turkey, are not stopping people from trying to reach our countries. Instead, they prolong suffering and push people into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, who find even more dangerous entry...
Nicolette Busuttil JRS
Nicolette Busuttil has joined the Jesuit Refugee Service in a new role, as the Communities of Hospitality Coordinator. Her role will be to work with religious communities, parishes and individuals to support them to host some of the refugees who find themselves homeless. The JRS UK “At Home” scheme brings together asylum seekers with people willing to open up their homes and hearts, as destitute asylum seekers in need of respite are matched with individuals, families and religious...
ObituaryPaul Nicholson SJ My friend and colleague Louise Zanré da Silva, who has died suddenly aged 47 as the result of a blood clot, dedicated her life to helping refugees who were entangled in the UK asylum system. She was a tireless and fearsome advocate for their rights and human dignity. Her remarkable grasp of the policy and issues was combined with a genuine love and respect for the individuals she encountered; they were never statistics.Louise was born in Broxburn, West Lothian, to...
Refugees rest in Hungary after fleeing from Syria. Mstyslav Chernov/Creative Commons
The Jesuit Bishop of Aleppo in Syria was one of the participants at a meeting of bishops from the Middle East, southern and western Europe, convened by COMECE (the Conference of European Bishops) to discuss migration. Catholic experts from the field also took part in the meeting in Heiligenkreuz, Austria, entitled 'Facing a crisis with many faces'.A member of the Chaldean-Catholic Church, Bishop Antoine Audo SJ of Aleppo has been a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of...
30,000 celebrated Mass with Pope Francis in the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, across the border with Mexico
Pope Francis has celebrated his final Mass in Mexico and has highlighted the plight of thousands of migrants – many of whom face enormous difficulties in their quest for better lives and others who have died in the process of trying. He preached at Mexico's northern border with the United States, and appealed for governments to open their hearts, if not their borders, to the “human tragedy that is forced migration”. On his arrival at Ciudad Juarez to celebrate Mass, Pope Francis knelt...
Safety after a rubber dinghy arrives on a beach on Lesbos, January 2016 (Darrin Zammit Lupi / JRS Europe).
The Jesuits Refugee Service in Europe has launched a new campaign entitled ‘Journeys of Hope’. Through it, JRS Europe aims to highlight the individual voices, hopes and dreams of people seeking a new, safe life in Europe, by recounting their personal stories and experiences.Danielle Vella has travelled all over the world with JRS, accompanying refugees and telling their stories. Danielle, together with Darrin Zammit Lupi, an award-winning photojournalist, have embarked on the journey of hope...
Iraqi refugees in Damascus, Syria - Wikipedia Commons
It is important to make the effort to get away from generalities when talking about welcoming refugees, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK, and not over-react to polls.  JRS UK was responding to the Comres poll for BBC Local Radio which showed that the majority of the British people (56%) would welcome refugees from places like Syria into their local communities and that 47% would like to see the UK accept more refugees, but also appeared to show a hardening of negative...
Sarah Teather with Pope Francis at the audience for JRS' 35 years of service, L'Osservatore Romano
The Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK (JRS UK) today welcomed its new Country Director. Sarah Teather is taking over from Louise Zanré who has decided to step down after 16 years but will be staying on as part of the team - in a policy/communications role.Sarah Teather is joining JRS UK following a short contract with the Rome office of JRS International. This work took her all over the world, including the Middle East, East Africa and the Western Balkans, visiting projects in field and meeting...
A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey. (A McConnell / UNHCR)
This Sunday, the Church will celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, responding to the theme initiated by Pope Francis: "Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us: the Response of the Gospel of Mercy".  Among the highlights of the weekend will be the 2016 Memorial Lecture of the Archdiocese of Liverpool’s Justice and Peace Commission, which will be given by Louise Zanré, the outgoing Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK (JRS-UK).Earlier this week, Pope Francis urged the...
The Syrian Cedar tree is decorated with prayer requests in Liverpool
Two art works by Jesuit Filipino artist Fr Jason Dy SJ added poignancy to Liverpool City Centre in the run-up to Christmas. His Sites of Refuge sought to engage the public in topical conversation about displacement, refuge and sanctuary.Fr Dy, who has been studying for his MA in Creative Practice in Liverpool, says he hoped to create sites that evoked disruption as well as meditation.The project was comprised of two installations - both of them interactive: a Tree of Refuge located in Clayton...

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