Saturday, 19 September 2015
Refugees on our doorstep
News just gets worse about what is happening to children, women and men fleeing from war and in many places such as Syria, persecution. Individually some EU governments have been generous to a fault. They have acted in a way filled with care and compassion. But, there is lacking a united, joined-up EU action. Meetings take place - often in the safety of Brussels - but the time for talking is past; now united, co-ordinated action is overdue. It is good to talk the talk. To walk the walk with the refugees is the call. The parishioners here in St Joseph's, Paris have sent €4,000 to the refugees through Secours Catholique Paris. Other groups working with Refugees have been listed at St Joseph's Church and the Diocese in Paris is ready to welcome Refugees who arrive. Marymount School is ready to engage in offering education to those arriving who need it. It is so difficult to know what to do. A few years ago, I wrote a piece in the parish bulletin suggesting that the next St Joseph's Lenten Project should be for the displaced people of Syria who were forced to flee to Lebanon and surrounding countries. Maybe foolishly, I even expressed a desire to personally bring the amount raised to the refugees! The decision on the Lenten Project for that year did not adopt this but chose an excellent other way of helping the most needy of our world. Now I have some idea of what the EXODUS in the Bible must have been like. Let us not undervalue the power of prayer for these people that justice, peace and safety will one day be theirs. A.T.