JRS Celebrates Migrant and Refugee Sunday

A family of refugees seeking asylum

In anticipation of the event and the launch of The Parramatta Catholic Diocese year long Journey, “Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection”, the Bishop of Parramatta and JRS joined together to create a video advocating for the rights of people seeking asylum and other forcibly displaced persons. 

At the end of August, Catholic parishes across Australia came together to celebrate the contribution migrants and refugees. This celebration culminated with Migrant and Refugee Sunday, on 27 August 2017, and the launch of the Parramatta Diocesan strategy – “Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection.”

The celebration was attended by more than 200 people that were very keen to join the conversation. It include moving speeches by the Bishop of Parramatta Vincent Long Van Nguyen, who called for us to stand with refugees and people seeking protection and for an attitudinal change of every Australian; and by the JRS International Director, Fr Tom Smolich SJ who highlighted the welcoming spirit of Australians and the importance of prioritizing this spirit over fear and anxiety.

In anticipation of the event and the launch of The Parramatta Catholic Diocese year long Journey, “Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection”, the Bishop of Parramatta and JRS joined together to create a video advocating for the rights of people seeking asylum and other forcibly displaced persons.

Watch the video here

Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless

This year, for the 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis chose the theme, ‘Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless’, drawing attention to the needs of displaced children globally.

“Each person is precious; persons are more important than things, and the worth of an institution is measured by the way it treats the life and dignity of human beings, particularly when they are vulnerable, as in the case of child migrants,” Pope Francis said.

Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection

The Parramatta Catholic Diocese launched their year long Journey, “Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection” on Migrant and Refugee Sunday.

The aim of the Journey according to the Diocese is to “galvanise a Diocese-wide, faith-filled urge to bring about a community and political culture that values fair and compassionate treatment of people seeking refuge and protection in Australia”.

Following the launch, the Diocesan Social Justice Office will be initiating a series of community conversations across every parish and every school within the Diocese. These conversations will be held in collaboration with several partner agencies already working in the field including JRS Australia.

Message from the Director of JRS in the video

“What inspires me the most is the people that we work with, those seeking asylum. And I would like them to be portrayed, not as victims but rather as survivors,” said JRS Director, Carolina Gottardo. “They have overcome insurmountable obstacles, they have made very long journeys and have been forced to leave everything they had in order to seek protection.”

“They are actually resilient people and they have plenty to offer to our society and to our communities. Indifference to their struggle is not an option and I do invite you to take action.”

Watch the video to find out more about the weekly celebrations and how you can become part of conversation so everyone in our society can learn more about people seeking asylum and their plight for protection. 

Video credit: Diocese of Parramatta
Message from the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv featuring John Cinya, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta & Carolina Gottardo, Director Jesuit Refugee Service Australia.
Music By: http://instrumentalsfree.com
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