While the Gospel commands us to welcome strangers , it also provides us with the opportunity to practice two of the most important commandments, to love God with all our hearts, all our souls and all our strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Refugees are our global neighbours. They are people who fled war, persecution, violence and natural disasters, taking with them only what they could carry.
Blesses Saint Pope John Paul II said we should "see Christ in every brother and sister in need and proclaim and defend the dignity of every migrant and refugee".
Our Lady of Guadalupe parish has a long history of welcoming refugees and providing them with the safety, peace, love and support we enjoy in our community. In the 1970's we welcomed refugees from Vietnam and more recently we embraced a family from Syria.
We are presently awaiting the arrival of a new family of 6, a mom and dad together with their 4 young children, all between the ages of 3 to 12. This family fled Syria at the height of the civil war and are now
eagerly waiting in Jordan for a call telling them their travel documents are ready to come to Dartmouth. This call could come any day now that the borders have reopened.
Though, Covid-19 restrictions have stopped our ability to fundraise for the additional funds we need to support this family when they arrive in the ways we have in the past, we ask that you pray for this ministry in our time of need.
Together we can welcome this family into our community by generously giving from our hearts to provide justice for these victims of war and persecution.
Our 2016 Refugee Committee, Downtown Dartmouth for Refugees, successfully sponsored a family of 6 in our community in 2017.
The current ministry lead, Debbie, is awaiting the arrival of another family of 6 any day now!
"In our day, the Church is called to go out into the streets of every existential periphery in order to heal wounds and to seek out the straying, without prejudice or fear, without proselytising, but ready to widen her tent to embrace everyone. Among those dwelling in those existential peripheries, we find many migrants and refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking, to whom the Lord wants his love to be manifested and his salvation preached."
The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for them as they face many challenges; and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.