Parishioners in the Diocese of Parramatta have always shown compassion, love and welcome to refugees and people seeking protection. Following an invitation by Bishop Vincent OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, a group formed in 2017: the Diocesan Journey … Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection.
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To date, parishes and individuals have:
- Supplied food, toiletry and cash donations to refugee agencies the House of Welcome and Jesuit Refugee Service;
- Conducted ‘Parish Table Talks’ with advocacy group the Sydney Alliance;
- Through parish conferences and schools, partnered with Vinnies (the St Vincent de Paul Society), who directly provided assistance to refugees and asylum seekers;
- Met with Federal and State MPs on refugee policy;
- Provided emergency accommodation in underutilised houses;
- Provided resources to Diocesan schools about refugees.
Here’s how you, your school or parish can get involved too:
Support Refugee Week 2021 June 20 to 26 – an Aussie tradition dating back 35 years.
Find an event to support at refugeeweek.org.au or plan your own.
Host a ‘Table Talk’ in your parish. Table Talks are an opportunity for people seeking asylum to share their story, to hear from an expert on current policies and to explore questions in a safe and respectful environment. Find out more from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Invite a refugee to your Church community. CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains is piloting Church communities hosting refugee individuals and families. Find out more from Celia: (02) 8843 2550; email@example.com
Watch and share resources to better understand the issues at parracatholic.org/socialjustice.
Campaign for more support for refugees in the Cumberland and Blacktown local government areas. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Participate in your parish activities for Migrant and Refugee Sunday on 26 September 2021. Resources can be found here.
Join us as we walk in solidarity with people seeking protection. Contact Sebastian, the Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator in the Diocese of Parramatta at Sebastian.Salaske-Lentern@parracatholic.org
David Buckley and Zoe Grant are members of Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection in the Diocese of Parramatta.