Month: April 2016

Middle East Mission

The Sudbury Star, on April 18, 2016, published an article entitled “Middle East Mission” by Carol Mulligan. The article tells the story of a group of people from Canada who travelled to Lebanon to interview Christian refugees to come to Canada. Sudbury Project Hope is an umbrella group that has been working to bring refugees from Syria and Iraq to the city as part of a Canadian government initiative to relocate 25,000 victims of the war in Syria. Jim and Donna Gordon were part of an 11-member team that travelled to Lebanon to interview prospective new Canadians. They noted that forty per cent of the population of Lebanon is Christian, a country that has deep Christian roots. Donna Gordon said that connection to the earliest days of Christianity could be felt during the team’s two-week stay, where members were accommodated at a convent for Roman Catholic nuns. The Gordons worked long days interviewing some of the people and in fact the couple and other team members conducted the interviews on the seventh floor of a Jesuit centre in Beirut. Sudbury Project Hope had selected two families to sponsor to come to the Nickel City. One opted to go to live in Australia and the other, the Alramadan family, is “moving through the system,” said the couple. As a result of the mission to Lebanon, three Christian families from Iraq will also likely come to Sudbury. Jim said one of the sights he found most touching was young couples, young men and women, holding hands, essentially going on “dates” and visiting churches or shrines.

The couple urges people to give the plight of Christians in the Middle East more thought and to question what Canadians can do to ensure they aren’t extinguished.

Please read the entire article: Middle East Mission

Your comments are encouraged:



Blitz could open doors to 700 refugees

On April 20, 2016 the Catholic Register published an article by Michael Swan describing how the Archdiocese of Toronto may be able to help a record number of Syrian refugees to come to Toronto. In the interview with Dr. Martin Mark, director of the Office For Refugees of the Toronto archdiocese,  he indicated that the staff were surprised by a sudden announcement that many applications could be accepted by April 1, 2016. Suddenly, on March 30, Immigration Minister John McCallum announced all privately sponsored refugee applications already in the system before the end of the day March 31 would be allowed in addition to whatever quota is eventually assigned. Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees spokeswoman Nancy Caron said that every effort will be made to process these refugees by the end of 2016 or early in 2017. Dr. Mark had conducted interviews in Lebanon this past spring and it is hoped that approximately 150 families would be placed in Toronto this year.

Please reads the full article: Blitz could open doors

You can also find the article here.

Your comments are welcome:



The Global Challenge of Refugees and Migrants – Fr. Tom Smolich SJ

The Mary Ward Centre was host to the presentation by Fr. Tom Smolich SJ, the Director of Jesuit Relief Services (JRS) on April 12, 2016. Fr. Smolich spoke about the global crisis and the challenges facing the people around the world who are forced to move from their homeland. He provided some statistics, indicating that there are approximately 4 million people in Syria who have been forced to move within Syria and another 4 million who have left Syria. He also mentioned the refugees from Darfur who have moved to Chad and have been in camps for over 15 years.

In Canada the Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) carries out the work of JRS. The CJI has projects and missions in Mexico, Jamaica, India and elsewhere.  JRS held an international meeting in Rome to formally establish their “Mercy in Motion” campaign which is inspired by this Holy Year of Mercy as proclaimed by Pope Francis. The goal is to educate more than 100,000 new students in the next five years.

The focus on education is vital. Fr. Tom reminded the group that education transforms communities, builds human dignity and creates safe spaces. His main inspiration for the work is that we cannot  become what we need to be by staying where we are.

Catholic efforts see $3.75 million in matching funds slated for Syria

The Catholic Register published an article by Michael Swan on April 6, 2016 dealing with the Catholic work in raising $3.75 million in matching funds dedicated to helping Syrian refugees. Three Catholic agencies with projects in Syria and throughout the Middle East raised nearly $3.75 million for Syria before the Feb. 29 deadline set by the federal government. The three agencies are Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Catholic Near East Welfare Association and  Aid to the Church in Need. Development and Peace raised $2.4 million, Catholic Near East Welfare Association — Canada raised $925,051.37, while Aid to the Church In Need — Canada came up with $440,326.59. The federal government matches funds raised by eligible agencies and the agencies apply for grants to help in the crisis.

Please read the full article from the Catholic Register: Catholic efforts

You may also read it from our site: Matching funds

Your comments are welcome: Catholic Refugee Sponsors’ Council