“This year our minds cannot help but dwell on the millions of people fleeing persecution and conflict and who like Mary and Joseph find that ‘there is no room at the inn’. Christianity is rooted in history. Bethlehem is past history. Yet, the story goes on. It is not Mary and Joseph looking for a room at the inn now, but the millions of people, ordinary men/women/children, who are asking for a place of safety and an opportunity to live normal lives.” (Extracts from a letter from Congregational Leader of the Marist Sisters to all the sisters.)
In response to the refugee crisis the Marist Sisters in Australia have made one of their houses available for refugee accommodation. In the photo Sr Kate, Bursar of Australia, can be seen handing over the keys of the property to the refugee support organisation that will oversee the placement of refugees in the property.
Pope Francis speaking about the plight of asylum seekers at Lampudesa said “These brothers and sisters of ours are trying to escape difficult situations to find some serenity and peace; they are looking for a better place for themselves and their families, but instead they find death or imprisonment. Today no one in our world feels responsible; we have lost a sense of responsibility for our brothers and sisters. We have fallen into the hypocrisy of the priest and the levite whom Jesus described in the parable of the Good Samaritan: we see our brother half dead on the side of the road, and perhaps we say to ourselves: “poor soul!”, and then go on our way. It’s not our responsibility, and with that we feel reassured, assuaged.”
How can we provide solutions for refugees and asylum seekers to restore their hopes for a brighter future? During Refugee Week, 15th – 21st June 2014, let us pray for a compassionate response to those seeking asylum. Let us be a voice for those who are refugees in our world.