refugees and asylum seekers
In the Gospel, Jesus compels us to welcome the stranger (Matthew 25:35). Welcome in this context involves both an attitude and an action. It is our attitude which constantly needs to be assessed in light of the Gospel to ensure that we are carrying out the Lord’s commandment to love our neighbour as ourselves.
We provide information about National Refugee Week, this year’s theme and how you can get involved. We also provide information on this year’s Palm Sunday Rallies for Refugees around the country.
Peter Arndt, Director of the Office reflects on Advent and particularly on seeing God with us each day. The hustle and bustle of this time of year can stop us seeing and hearing God in our day-to-day lives. He urges us to keep Christ in our celebrations of Christmas by remembering and including people excluded from society and our brother and sisters in the environment in our celebrations. Peter farewells Patrice Moriarty who is moving on from her support of the Office.
The Federal government released their 2022-2023 budget after the election. Although there is new funding available to speed up visa processing which is years behind, and there is a review on Australia’s multicultural policies and more support for people learning English, there was no commitment to permanency for those on temporary visas and no increased refugee intake.
You are invited to contact your local Federal parliamentarians to join your voice with calls to end Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs). The federal government has committed to this however there is no timeline in place, meaning people seeking asylum continue to be in limbo. Advocates across the country are asking for this and for people seeking asylum to finally be granted permanent protection.
The 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be held this Sunday, 25 September around the world. The theme for this year is “Building the future with migrants and refugees.” A kit has been developed by the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office which features stories from the community as well as prayers and prayer services for schools and parishes, posters, and reflections for use.
The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) is holding a National Week of Prayer and Action beginning on 25 September, World Day of Migrants and Refugees and ending on 30 September. On Tuesday 27 September, CAPSA are running an online webinar at 6.30pm AEST featuring four speakers on how we can all use our time, resources, heart and voice to advocate and take action alongside people seeking asylum.
Migrant and Refugee Sunday is on
25 September. The Australian Catholic Migrants and Refugee Office will release the resource kit for this year’s celebrations on 15 August. The resources centre on this year’s theme, “Building the future with migrants and refugees”. It will include stories from local communities, reflection, primary and secondary schools’ prayer rituals and prayers of the faithful to be used for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.