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Visitation Province

On Friday, November 15, Bon Secours Residence had a prayer service for Internationality 2019. The liturgy was taken from the one prepared by the novices and sisters of Cameroon. During the intercessions, a sister held up the flag of that country as we joined in a prayer for the people in that region of the world. Sr. Elizabeth Schratz from Mary of Peace community held the Japanese flag as we prayed for the needs of that country.

Donna Kelly, CND

Welcoming Refugees… Do We?

Wanting to write about being fortunate enough to hear Mary Jo Leddy speak in Charlottetown regarding Myths and Facts about refugees in Canada. For nearly 30 years, Mary Jo has been the director of Romero House in Toronto, a refuge for refugees. Her books tell us of her life experiences and lessons learned from journeying with refugees.

The title of the presentation we shared was “Welcoming Refugees… Do We?” Her experience tells her that, yes, refugees are changing the fabric of this country. More than we know, the Sponsorship Program is building a different country and that, hopefully, Canada will be soon be designated a "safe third country" for refugees. We need to work together to eliminate the "wall of bureaucracy” that can deport people after they have lived here for 10 years and, among other things, overcome the many roadblocks in the family unification process. Mary Jo stressed that wherever we are, the most important thing is to warmly welcome refugees. She said, "Welcoming warmly is something of soul and spirit" that enables another to believe that they can walk again. She also stressed guarding against the negativity engendered by the philosophy that this is our country and we can decide who comes here rather than “This country is a gift given to us and we welcome others to share in this.” Her most powerful statement, in my opinion, was her saying "as Canadians we need to define ourselves in terms of "who and what we are for" rather than in terms of "who and what we are against."

Anne Gillis, for JPIC


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