Syria: daily heroism witnessed by Caritas Switzerland

On June 19, Jesuit Refugee Service Syria was honoured with the 2014 Prix Caritas award in a ceremony in Lucerne, Switzerland. Nawras Sammour SJ, JRS Middle East North Africa Director, received the award on behalf of JRS Syria.

The award honours JRS for its "tireless and courageous commitment for the benefit of the persecuted and suffering people in Syria. For bearing witness in the form of humanitarian aid, standing by people in need irrespective of their religious and ethnic affiliations".

Experiencing the refugee journey in pictures

How can Australia expand its goodwill so as to provide sanctuary and sustenance to refugees knocking on its door? This question was posed by Jesuit Refugee Service Australia during Refugee Week 2014 when it teamed up with The Wayside Chapel in Sydney to present a photo exhibition chronicling the resilience of refugees and the hospitality of their host countries.

Pentecost and World Refugee Day

At Pentecost the believers celebrated that they were “no longer strangers and sojourners, but a dwelling place of the Spirit” (Eph 2:19-22).  With World Refugee Day just a couple of weeks away on June 20, I am reminded yet again that the experiences of refugees, who long to be “no longer strangers and sojourners”, and the celebration of Pentecost find a common thread in the life of Jesus and the message he gave to the Church.

Accompanying People on the Move

On January 19, 2014 some 5,000 people took to the streets of Hong Kong and gathered outside the police headquarters to demand justice for Erwiana, an Indonesian maid abused by her Hong Kong employer. They were members of Indonesian and Filipino migrant worker unions as well as representatives of various human rights groups in the country.

Fr Lombardi on refugees: Pope Francis shows us the way

Amongst those present for the publication of the 2014 Centro Astalli Annual report in Rome, was the Director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ.

The event took place as yet another rescue effort by the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean lent assistance to an overcrowded boat in difficulty carrying some 200 people, many of whom women and children. Amongst them, at least one person has reportedly died.

JRS Syria awarded 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award

The 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award has been granted to Jesuit Refugee Service Syria (JRS Syria) for its outstanding dedication in providing emergency relief to Syrians since the war began in 2012.  According to the latest UN statistics, more than 9 million Syrians are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, including 6,5 million internally displaced persons and 2,6 million refugees in neighbouring countries.

Deepening the mission of reconciliation in the work of JRS

How can we accompany refugees without responding to their longing for healing and peace? This is the question posed in a newly-published guide that aims to strengthen the role of Jesuit Refugee Service in the reconciliation of groups of people displaced through conflict.

Pope Francis appeals for hospitality and justice during visit to JRS

After his visit to Lampedusa, Pope Francis again made a call in favour of welcoming refugees at a visit to the soup kitchen of Centro Astalli (Jesuit Refugee Service Italy).

Refugees endure terrible journeys fleeing violence and conflict in their countries of origin in the hope they will be able to offer a better life to their children, the Pope told those gathered in the Chiesa del Gesù, a Jesuit church in the centre of Rome where the headquarters of JRS Italy is located.

Australian Province issues statement on refugees and asylum seekers

In a statement dated August 25, 2013, World Day of Migrants and Refugees in Australia, Australian Jesuit Provincial Fr Steve Curtin SJ says Australians need to stop being indifferent to the plight of asylum seekers and start seeing them as human beings like us, in dire need of our help.

“Before he went to Brazil for World Youth Day, Pope Francis visited a detention centre on Lampedusa, an island to which people from North Africa come, seeking a home in Europe. Many die on the sea journey. The Pope asked, ‘Who has grieved for the death of these brothers and sisters?’

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