Bishop Bergie calls to help refugees



September 11,2015

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We have all been deeply disturbed by the recent images of Syrian refugees fleeing their homeland and arriving in Europe seeking asylum. Sadly, some have not survived the journey including the very young. This is a tragedy that needs to be addressed. What can we do?

Our Holy Father Pope Francis has asked that we welcome these refugees. He has asked parishes in Europe to sponsor a refugee family. We can do the same in Canada. If your parish is willing to consider sponsoring a refugee family, more information is available at the chancery office. We are very fortunate to have within the diocese Casa el Norte in Fort Erie and Chez Marie in St. Catharines. These diocesan centers were inspired by a group of parishioners during the Vietnamese refugee crisis in the 1970′ s. At that time some parishes sponsored refugee families. Our refuge centres can be a valuable resource in facilitating the sponsorship of Syrian refugees in our diocese.

Another possibility is to contribute to two organizations that will directly support refugees. The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace and the Canadian Church in Need Canada (CNEW A) are able to send donations in support of refugees living in camps. CNEWA (pronounced “chenawa”) supports many Christian families still living in Syria and the Middle East. A collection will be taken up across the diocese on Thanksgiving Weekend (October 10th/11th) in support of these organizations. I ask that yo u place your donation in a plain envelope with your name and address if yo u wish a tax receipt. If yo u have a preference regarding which organization yo u wish to support you may also state that on the envelope.

Most Reverend Gerard Bergie D.D.
Bishop of Saint Catharines

Most importantly, we all need to pray for the refugees, those assisting them, and for the political will to address the source of this crisis for only this will bring lasting peace in the Middle East.

We turn to our Blessed Mother who is the Queen of Peace. May her maternal intercession bring healing and hope to our world especially those fleeing war and injustice.

Yours sincerely in Christ,
+Most Reverend Gerard Bergie, D.D.
Bishop of S t. Catharines

Download Bishop’s Letter: Syrian Refugees Letter

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