Refugees

Fr Tom Smolich SJ
We should “move beyond fear”, following the Paris terrorist attacks, according to Father Tom Smolich SJ, the International Director of Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), and should recognise that refugees are also fleeing atrocities.Speaking on Vatican Radio, Fr Smolich acknowledged that there is the risk of a backlash against refugees – especially after more than a dozen states in the US said that Syrian refugees are no longer welcome due to security fears and the call from some European countries...
JRS-UK website: jrsuk.net
To coincide with JRS International’s 35th anniversary this week, the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK has launched its new website. Built around JRS’s three principles of Advocate, Serve and Accompany, the new site is designed to provide an opportunity for refugees and volunteers to share their personal stories and experiences, thereby giving supporters an interactive resource through which they can learn directly from people involved with JRS – and can take appropriate action.“We hope it will...
JRS audience with Pope Francis  Credit Osservatore Romano
Pope Francis addressed the Jesuit Refugee Service on Saturday, at an audience to mark JRS’ 35th anniversary. He told staff and friends of the agency that “the decision to be present in areas of greatest need, in conflict and post-conflict zones, has brought you international recognition for your closeness to people and your ability to learn from this how better to serve.”The Jesuit Refugee Service was founded in 1980 by the then Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ. “He...
Jesuits & Friends - issue 92
Pope Francis’ appeal on behalf of migrants is the cover story in the latest edition of Jesuits and Friends, which is published this weekend. Recalling his address to the US Congress to urge people to see the faces and listen to the stories of refugees, rather than to simply think of them as statistics, the winter edition of the magazine considers the Jesuits’ response to the crisis and provides several ideas for action – from direct support of the Jesuit Refugee Service to campaigning and...
Citizens UK rally
In the past year Jesuit communities, parishes and works in London have been actively involved with Citizens UK's campaign to keep a spotlight on our government's response to the refugee crisis.Now Citizens UK is moving on to pressure David Cameron to keep his pledge, which includes 1,000 refugee children from the camps in Lebanon to be resettled in the UK by Christmas.  So far, over the last 18 months, only 216 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the UK, and progress is still glacially...
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Cardinal Vincent has issued a statement on the refugee crisis today, in which he says:'The Catholic Church in England and Wales will respond to Pope Francis' challenge to be generous in supporting people who have been forced to flee their homes'We urge government to respond positively to this crisis and to provide the necessary resources and funding to ensure the effective reception and long-term resettlement of these desperate people. We will work with both government and other responsible...
Westminster Cathedral piazza
"What Can I Do To Help?"  PRAY this Tuesday*    Please show our polticians that you care! There will be a debate on refugees in the House of Commons this Tuesday 8th. On the evening of the 8th there will be a prayerful multi-faith vigil in the piazza outside Westminster Cathedral, from 7-8pm - to commemorate refugees who have died in the Mediterranean, attempting to make their way to Europe. Carindal Vincent Nichols will be attending.  ...
Syrian refugee family in Lebanon with Sarah Teather of Jesuit Refugee Service
During his Angelus address in St Peter’s Square yesterday, the Pope responded to the refugee crisis by appealing to all Catholic parishes and religious communities in Europe to take in a refugee family.“Every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe – take in one family each”, he said.In appealing for this gesture of solidarity, he set the example by saying that the two parishes in the Vatican would each take in a refugee family in the next few days.The Pope...
Cardinal Nichols
On the refugee crisis, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said yesterday, “This a disgrace. That we are letting people die and seeing dead bodies on the beaches, when together Europe is such a wealthy place. We should be able to fashion a short-term response, not just a long-term response”. “It is no longer an abstract problem of people on the scrounge. It’s not. It’s people who are desperate for the sake of their families, their elderly, their youngsters, their children. What is screaming out is...
The Queen has honoured a former pupil of Stonyhurst College in Lancashire with the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. Edmund Page was among 58 people from 35 Commonwealth countries who received the award, which was set up in honour of Her Majesty’s service to the Commonwealth by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society.Edmund was given the award in recognition of the achievements of the Xavier Project, which he established to...

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