Welcoming the Stranger

catholic-womens-league-sept-2016

Pat Guegan, Branch President of Portsmouth CWL and Sue Meece, Diocesan President of the UCM pictured here with our Lampedusa Cross at Portsmouth Cathedral.

O thank you to all the women of the Catholic Women’s League and the Union of Catholic Mothers who held a joint meeting in Portsmouth on Saturday and donated £880 to our Refugee Crisis Appeal.  Just amazing!  Thank you so much!

It was a real honour to speak to our founders about our work with refugees throughout the world and thank them for all their support.  We ended by praying for the success of the march in London ahead of the UN summits on refugees and migration and we reflected on the Lampedusa Cross.

catholic-womens-league-sept-2016bAs many of you know, the first Lampedusa Cross was made by Sicillian carpenter Francesco Tuccio from the wreckage of a boat carrying refugees that sank off the island of Lampedusa.  Francesco carved and offered crosses to survivors as a symbol of their rescue and a sign of hope.  One of his crosses was recently carried through the great Door of Mercy at St Peter’s basilica and one now stands in the Discovery Centre at Portsmouth Cathedral. Please do go along to see it as part of your Year of Mercy pilgrimage.

We ended by looking at this photo of a little girl in Athens (see below) who is reading a message of hope from a supporter in Portsmouth.

athens-2016It really inspired us to write our own messages too which will be distributed to refugees throughout CSAN, JSR and CAFOD’s networks – some of which I’ve included below:

‘Please know you are a special person and have a valuable role to play in the world. We will keep you in our prayers…

‘My message of hope for refugees is that every man/woman in the streets of England may know of this terrible crisis and reach out with hearts that are full of compassion and love..’

‘Many people are walking with you – you are not alone.’

‘I am with you in thoughts and prayers. Don’t give up hope. There will be an end to this terrible war. We will do everything we can to ease your situation.’

After Mass, we had a fantastic talk from Jane Dawson from CWL Relief and Refugees who are doing some amazing work here in the UK.  A great day!   Thank you to Pat and to everyone for inviting me along to speak and an ENORMOUS thank you for such a generous donation to our appeal.

Donate to CAFOD’s Refugee Appeal.

Send a message of hope to refugees.

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