During World Refugee Week, the Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission will launch A Movement of the Heart, a commitment by Catholics and fellow Christians to respond compassionately to the plight of refugees globally.
The Commission asks Catholics to show their commitment by participating in a novena of prayer from the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Friday 12 June, to World Refugee Day, Saturday 20 June.
A resource containing scriptural passages, a quotation from Pope Francis and a selection of prayers is being sent to parishes, schools, Church agencies and organisations this week.
The Commission’s Chair, Ms Maree Rose, said that the movement is a response to Pope Francis’ call for an end to the globalisation of indifference towards the plight of refugees.
“Soon after he became Pope, the Holy Father went to the Italian island of Lampedusa to mourn the loss of lives at sea of Africans fleeing persecution and violence in their homelands,” she said.
“Pope Francis spoke of the globalisation of indifference where no-one seems to care, where no-one seems to take responsibility,” she said.
“The United Nations says there are an unprecedented fifty million refugees, people seeking protection from violence and persecution and people displaced within their country’s borders globally,” she said.
“Our movement is committed to overcoming the hard-heartedness which allows this immense human tragedy to happen,” she said.
“We want a global response which reflects the loving, merciful heart of Jesus,” she said.
“We are a Church which has welcomed successive waves of refugees from the Irish in the early days to the Vietnamese, Latin American, African and Middle Eastern refugees of recent decades,” she said.
“As a Church, we know what it means to flee persecution and violence,” she said.
“We invite our fellow Catholics to be part of a movement which responds to the plight of refugees worldwide with warm and open hearts,” she said.
“Let us ask Jesus to bring about a conversion of heart in ourselves and throughout the world,” she said.
n.b Like the Facebook Page for A Movement of the Heart” and share it with others asking them to also like the page and join in the novena. The Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/amovementoftheheart
Released by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission – Archdiocese of Brisbane