Social Justice

A Mosaic of the world
I have lived in London for 18 years and to celebrate I decided to walk around it, yes, the city that is! I came to London by choice, as an 'economic migrant' perhaps, but to pursue my career and make my home here. It is a city that I have come to know and love well through friends, politics, culture and community groups. Many of the people I work with now did not choose London, but came fleeing for their safety in search of asylum as refugees. Life in London is a struggle for survival and many...
Kindertransport bronze statue in Liverpool Street Station, London
“Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”If you go to Liverpool Street Station and you happen not to be in a terrible hurry to catch your train (or like me, know that you have already missed it), you may notice, tucked away in an unobtrusive little corner, a sculpture in bronze of two small sad looking children - a boy and a girl - and a large suitcase.And then you can look at it for quite a...
Welcoming those that come to the JRS Day Centre
Fr Michael Smith SJ reflects on his experience so far working as a volunteer at Jesuit Refugee Service UK's Thursday Day Centre.     I'd been a Jesuit for around 17 years when Father Pedro Arrupe started the Jesuit Refugee service in 1980. Father Arrupe was one of the best known and most admired of recent Jesuit generals – the people who run the Jesuits world-wide. I knew that it operated in many places in the world, trying to do in each place what refugees in that area...
Staff member Kate reflects on a special journey she dedicated to the refugees she has met through her work at JRS.I have lived in London for 18 years and to celebrate I decided to walk around it, yes, the city that is! I came to London by choice, as an 'economic migrant' perhaps, but to pursue my career and make my home here. It is a city that I have come to know and love well through friends, politics, culture and community groups. Many of the people I work with now did not choose London...
Kogai children in Columbia
For July 2015, the Holy Father’s Evangelisation Intention draws our attention to the poor in his native Latin America. Coming to us in the month in which he made his first return to his own continent since his election, it’s timely that he asks us to pray thus: “That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society”. Here in our own supposedly prosperous country, increasing poverty, particularly among children...
Mary, Bernadette and Brigitte share their perspectives on coming together as women at JRS UK for their regular prayer and peer support sessions.The initial aspect for the prayer circle is that the women want to come together to have some expression for their faith. For all of the women this is very important. They have a very strong belief that God will see them through. Also too there is a whole sense of they always want to pray for needs of their families wherever their family members are,...
Pope Francis greets refugees, Centro Astalli, Italy,
The Apostleship of Prayer is the Pope’s own prayer-group. Here is the first of two intentions he asks us to pray in the month of June, 2015.That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.Few have been unaware of the shocking news coming from the Mediterranean in recent months of so many thousands of desperate migrants rescued from the open sea. Yet they were the fortunate ones; many more have lost their lives in horrifying circumstances, drowning...
Young man raises fist along with many people in a square in El Salvador
The celebrations for the Beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero lasted three days, officially, although the people of San Salvador are still celebrating.On Friday 22nd May, I spent a long day preparing the bloodstained shirt which Romero was wearing when he was murdered (see below), and then placed it in the newly made reliquary. This was a lengthy and complicated piece of conservation, as the shirt is fragile and the bloodstains have made the fabric brittle. I made a cushion out of...
Blessed Oscar Romero
On Monday 24 March 1980 at 6.26pm, Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot dead at the altar with a single marksman’s bullet in the middle of a Mass he was celebrating in the chapel of the cancer hospital where he lived.The next day an urgent telegram was received from London: “Supreme sacrifice of Archbishop Romero is climax of his peaceful struggle for poor and oppressed.  Will inspire all to continue his Christian witness.  Grieve with Church of El Salvador on loss of incomparable pastor....
Dancers at the 2015 migrants' mass at St George's Cathedral, Southwark
Jo Siedlecka from Independent Catholic News shares her experience of this year's Migrants Mass at Southwark Cathedral.There was a sea of colourful banners, flags and parasols at St George's Cathedral, Southwark on Monday as an international congregation of more than 1,500 people, many in their national dress, processed in for the annual Migrants Mass celebrating the Feast of St Joseph the Worker.Organised by London's three Catholic dioceses: Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster, with the ethnic...

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