People on the Move

Welcoming Migrants & Refugees

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference banner for Migrant and Refugee Sunday 2015

The Catholic Church in Australia celebrates Migrant & Refugee Sunday on the last Sunday in August.  The message of Bishop Vincent Long, Delegate for the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office, for this occasion can be read here. Esmey Herscovitch RSCJ marks Migrant & Refugee Sunday 2015 by reflecting on the readings for the day.  She asks “Where are our hearts?”   The one thing I remember from a talk many years ago on the new code of Canon Law i.e. Church law, is that laws are made to protect peoples’ rights and freedoms and not to bind and constrict. Today’s readings focus to a large extent on law and observance. The first reading from

Migrant & Refugee Sunday

Christmas Island shipwreak

On 31 August 2014 we will celebrate the 100th Migrant & Refugee Sunday. The kit produced for this occasion by the Australian Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office includes a theological reflection on the Holy Family in exile by our Province Director of Mission, Sandie Cornish. Download the Migrant & Refugee Sunday kit and related resource here. You may care to join us in these prayers, which were written for a vigil held for asylum seekers. For our brothers and sisters whose homes are torched, whose children are scattered, who must turn down their eyes and fence their mouths, we pray God of compassion, hear us. For those who stand in

RSCJ Join National Lament for Asylum Seekers

abstract graphic from CRA asylum seeker button

Catholic Religious Australia are disturbed by the punitive and harsh policies and conditions to which people seeking asylum in Australia are being subjected.  In response they have launched a National Lament which will include: Making Friday in Lent a day of prayer and penance for people seeking asylum Continuing this practice after Lent through to the Ascension Writing to one’s local Federal member and to the Minister, Scott Morrison, expressing our lament for people seeking asylum in Australia Engaging in a Week of Prayer and Prophetic Presence from Ascension to Pentecost, 1 to 8 June 2014 Download the National Lament Prayer Sheet to take part.

People Seeking Asylum, not ‘Illegals’

still from film "Mary meets Mohamed'

Catholic Religious Australia, of which the Society of the Sacred Heart Australia New Zealand Province is a member, signed this letter to Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The letter was signed by 138 community organisations and faith groups who object to the Australian government’s decision to refer to asylum seekers who enter Australia by boat as  ‘illegal maritime arrivals.’  Signatories include the Australian Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office, the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, the justice and peace organisations of several Catholic dioceses, and a number of religious institutes.

Resources on Refugees & Asylum Seekers

photo of a protest

This set of annotated links on Responding to Asylum Seekers & Refugees points to Catholic perspectives on refugees and asylum seekers.  It includes links to key Catholic Social Teaching documents and statements by the Australian and Papua New Guinea Bishops on the agreement between the two countries for the refugee status determination and resettlement in Papua New Guinea of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat.