Migrant and Refugee Kit Launched in Brisbane
A resource kit designed to assist parishes, schools and communities to reflect and prepare for Migrant & Refugee Sunday (26 August) was launched on Tuesday, 12 June at the Hanly Room of Francis Rush Centre in Brisbane.
First released in 2008, the Migrant & Refugee Kit is produced each year by the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) for the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference and launched in various locations in Australia. It is the first time that the Kit is launched in Brisbane.
The Kit includes promotional posters and a booklet containing stories, reflections and prayers that carry the theme of Pope Francis’ message for the 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees (celebrated annually on 14 January). Pope Francis’ message for 2018 is ‘Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees’. Australia celebrates National Migrant and Refugee Sunday on the last Sunday of August each year.
Close to a hundred representatives from ethnic communities, parishes, schools and archdiocesan agencies gathered in support of Archbishop Mark Coleridge as he launched the Kit alongside ACMRO National Director Fr Maurizio Pettenà CS.
At the gathering, Archbishop Mark urged everyone to take on seriously Pope Francis’ message and our Christian calling to ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees — whoever they are and wherever they came from.’
“If they are human beings, that’s what we do,” the Archbishop said, “not just — if they can better the economy, or if they are useful, or if they are nice, or if they are like us, if they are white and Christian and all that stuff,” he added.
Archbishop Mark acknowledged that ’the fear of the other lurks in all of us’ and it is at that point when we need some conversion of heart.
Launching the kit, Archbishop Mark said, “It is my ardent hope that the resource will help, not just to bring into consciousness the need that we face, but also to help bring about that change of mind and heart which allows us individually and as the church, the body of Christ, to welcome, protect, promote and integrate anyone — any human being, who comes to these shores in search of a home’.
The resource kit will be useful for those who wish to organise school/parish/community activities during the week of 26 August. Printed copies are currently being distributed in various dioceses across Australia. Brisbane parishes will receive copies in the second half of June. Schools will receive their copies via the July BCE mailing. A downloadable copy is available on the ACMRO website www.acmro.catholic.org.au.
The Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care wish to thank all who were able to represent their parishes, ethnic communities, schools and archdiocesan agencies at the launch. Special thanks to the cultural performers — Sandra from the Capellanía Católica Latinoamericana de Brisbane and the Lebanese Maronite dancers in Brisbane (StMaroun Brisbane) and their chaplains. The Centre is grateful for the presence of Uncle David Miller who delivered the Acknowledgement of Country. More photos are available on the CMPC Facebook page.
The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference also produced a Parish Resource Pack for World Day of Migrants and Refugees celebrated in Europe in January. Visit https://www.catholicbishops.ie/2018/01/09/world-day-of-migrants-and-refugees-2018/