Walk in their Footsteps – 22nd September 2018
In a persistent and very wetting rain a small but hearty band followed Vincent McLaughlin as he led us in short readings of the reality experienced by refugees in different parts of our world. On this walk from the Narthex in Clevedon down to the sea front, around Poet’s Walk and back to the church, the rain made it easier to feel some small part of the dispiriting fate of many millions who are displaced refugees. May their fate be eased by you Lord.
Prayer for Migrants and Refugees
Lord Jesus, before your death Peter denied you out of fear of the crowd, afterwards your disciples gathered in the upper room out of fear of being different. Today we too, like your disciples, can be filled with fear, doubt and even suspicion as the refugee crisis looms large again in Calais and Dunkirk. Bring to us too Lord, the strength of the Holy Spirit so that we might welcome refugees as your children and as our brothers and sisters in your name. Lord hear us
A year of communal prayer ended on 28th September 2016 – Thus ended our communal year of prayer for refugees and for peace. The final Prayer Hour included three very varied testimonials. Click here to read them.
The hour also incorporated the following hymns …
Thanks to Elizabeth and Patrick Dillon and to Paul and Sandy Gale for organising the sessions.
How can we, in Clevedon respond to the current, on-going Refugee Crisis
A parish meeting met to discuss this and agreed the following …
- Arrange monthly Prayer Hours – date and time to be announced
- Invite parishioners to submit prayers to Greyfriars Prayer Group via the Parish Office
- Invite parishioners to join any of the three Prayer Groups
- Raise financial help for refugees and donate this to CAFOD’s Syrian Refugee Appeal
– Click here for http://www.cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-Emergencies/Syria-Crisis-Appeal
- CAFOD envelopes and tins will also be made available for donations
- If/when Refugees arrived in Clevedon their most pressing need would be for welcoming love, acceptance and stability.
- of course individual, or family, prayers will be a massive help
It was decided to postpone specific action on Emergency Fund, Training Refugees and Provision of Shelter/Accommodation until there were indications of Refugees arriving in/around Clevedon. Before ending the meeting with ‘The Lord’s Prayer” Fr Reg reminded us that the opening words were “Our Father” and that the “Our” was all inclusive – friends, neighbours, strangers enemies even!!
Here in his words is the challenge posed by of Pope Francis as, this month, he addressed Jesuits attending a conference of entitled “Global Migration and Refugee Crisis”.
He said “In the face of tens of thousands of persons forcibly displaced worldwide, it is important to move beyond the statistics and to realise that migrants and refugees are no different than our own family members and friends”.
“Each one of them”, he added “has a name, a face and a story as well as an unalienable right to live in peace and to aspire to a better future for their sons and daughters.”
He recalled the life of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, when he claimed “that at this place and time in history, there is a great need for men and women who hear the cry of the poor and who respond with mercy and generosity.“
He asked that our responses to the refugee crisis should be “through acts of mercy that promote the refugees’ integration into European communities” and he added that we should “remember that authentic hospitality is a profound gospel value that nurtures love and is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.”
Finally, the Holy Father urged us to “transform our communities into places of welcome where all God’s children have the opportunity not simply to survive, but to grow, to flourish and to bear fruit.”