Parish Outreach Programme

The JRS Parish Outreach Programme takes its inspiration from the words of Pope Francis in his messages for the World Day of Migrants. In his message for 2015, the Argentinian Pope stresses that “The Church without frontiers, Mother to all, spreads throughout the world a culture of acceptance and solidarity, in which no one is seen as useless, out of place or disposable… In fact, in an age of such vast movements of migration, large numbers of people are leaving their homelands, with a suitcase full of fears and desires, to undertake a hopeful and dangerous trip in search of more humane living conditions. Often, however, such migration gives rise to suspicion and hostility, even in ecclesial communities, prior to any knowledge of the migrants’ lives or their stories of persecution and destitution. In such cases, suspicion and prejudice conflict with the biblical commandment of welcoming with respect and solidarity the stranger in need.” (Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2015).

The previous year, the Pope had invited Christians to move away from “attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization … towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world” (Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014) 

Through this Outreach Programme, JRS seeks to combat this culture of “suspicion” and “hostility” based on prejudice and misinformation by inviting refugees and asylum-seekers to share their stories with Catholic congregations during Sunday Mass. Accompanied by members of the JRS team, these short testimonies will enable parishioners to have a better idea of where these people come from, whilst getting first-hand information about their “fears” and “desires” for the future. As a result, the aim of this programme is to create a space of encounter and of hospitality which helps to break down the mutual walls of defensiveness and fear.

If you are interested in welcoming JRS to your parish, please contact Fr. Mark Cachia sj on mark@jrsmalta.org 

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