The Crisis of Refugees

Migrants in Hungary near the Serbian border.

Migrants in Hungary near the Serbian border. Photo credit: Gémes Sándor/SzomSzed

 

I am sure that each of us has been touched by the reports coming from Hungary about the crisis facing the world with the refugees fleeing Syria.

  • How will we as a Congregation respond?
  • As a member of the Congregation, what do you want us to do?
  • What will your local community do?
  • What are you as an individual Brother willing to do?

I have asked Chris to set up a way by which we can respond to the crisis and to each other. Please give some thought to the questions and leave a comment in the box below. Pray and let’s take some action in behalf of those who are suffering.

Ed Driscoll

Added October 2, 2015

I was moved by Pope Francis’ genuine sensitivity and care in all he did this past week in the USA. Refugees and immigrants were one of his major focuses. I was particularly moved by his homily to the clergy and religious in Philadelphia when he told the story of Katharine Drexel’s meeting with Leo XIII in which she, as a young person, represented the cause of the poor. Leo’s response to her and Francis’ reiterating Leo’s response, “What about you?” In other words, what are you going to do? It is a question I want to pose to us.

What about You? Of the many things Francis shared what has stayed with you. How would you (and I) answer the question, “What about you?

11 Comments

  1. Bro. Jerry O'Leary says:

    Brother Ed….
    Two good resources at which Xaverian Brothers, Associates, and collaborators can find possible ways of responding to the horrific refugee crisis in Europe can be found at the website of Catholics Confront Global Poverty (http://www.confrontglobalpoverty.org ) through which individuals can urge the US president and Congress to take effective moral, financial, and logistic leadership in confronting this crisis, and at the Catholic Relief Services website (http://www.crs.org ) at which individual and group donations can be made.
    Jerry O’Leary

  2. Dear Brothers i was thinking how can i have that opportunity let know all brothers to that reflectionh,as myself,i think,i will pray one other.

  3. I vividly remember my grandfather’s story. He left the family village near Lvov, on the then border between Ukraine and Poland, with a loaf of black rye bread and the clothes he was wearing. He arrived in America, convinced that the rye bread that his mother handed him on the way out the door prevented sea sickness on the long journey. The Russian Army overran the village shortly after my grandfather’s departure. He never saw his family again.
    We are all migrants, driven by the pressure of hostility or of the desire for a better life for ourselves or our families. Let us remember this, and let us pray for our brothers and sisters in need. May our love join the love of the Father who created all of us, no matter the nation, no matter the faith.

  4. Jim Conolly, CFX says:

    Support aid tomRefugees via Catholic Relief Services.
    Write the UN asking them to respond in a more timely manner to the Refugee Crisis. Email gov’ts of Saudi Arabia, Qutar, U.A.E., Dubai and other Moslem nations to open their borders to fellow Moslem Refugees.

  5. The only way we are able to make a Congregational response is to free ourselves from the sponsorship of schools in the US. We need to publically announce moving away from the mission of the schoolsls. It is done
    The Congregation needs to revisit Ryken’s vision and envision a new mission responding to the needs of our 21st century times. We need to be living Congregationally a new charism that will attract a new membership here in the US. We need to return to Europe, perhaps, to address a new need of the Church. Presentally we are Congregationally mired in a 19th century charism. We need to move on and redefine ourselves for a new world and new needs.

    We have a long history in Belgium which is a country expected to aid the refugees. We need to interact as a Papal Congregation with the Belgian bishops and governmental authorities to find out how we can assist this need.

    As as indivual Xaverian I no longer have the strength and the supple mental rsources to be of much help except thru prayer. I do observe the passing scene and developments. Here in Louisville the local paper reported that there are 72,000 young people here living on the streets. I have seen them. They are called the dispossed. A similar scene faced the Brothers who came to Louisville in 1854. In time they made a difference. What can we do in 2015 with more resources but perhaps less imaginaion and less guts than a Dutch shoemaker shoes in 1854?

  6. Bro Zacharie Kyungu CFX says:

    Living in a country where crisis of such is common and daily; I thought that it is quite normal that I personally respond to these questions to help; though I and my community are very far from the really or place where this, is happening.

    Response:

    1. As a congregation, we need to set a special intention of prayers during this time for crisis of the refugees to be included in our community prayers, then donate what we can(money or other stuff which can help them) to serious ONGs or the Caritas so as to allow them to effectively act in the name of the congregation in order to help those who are suffering.

    2. As a member of the congregation, I want the general counsel to be more concerned in inviting members of the congregation to reflect and respond to this issue in ways that can help them to participate to this call; for instance those who cannot be directly involved in this action can send their prayerful thoughts so that those in charge of communication can organize series of special prayers to be sent in different communities all over the world to pray for these people; and those who can be directly involved, to associated to the organization on how money or stuff can be delivered to those people. Brothers who work in our different schools can gather students and their parents so that whoever is touched by this situation can donate something for those who are suffering. They can also organize prayer services on this occasion in memory of the victims of this violence.

    3. My local community will be ready to pray and spend time to share on how we, as Xaverian brothers can describe our charism in being realistic and attentive to the call of God through His people who are suffering. This is what we can do due to the distance between the refugees and us(in Africa).

    4. As an individual brother, I am willing to talk about it to people so as to foster our solidarity to those people in our parish and our schools. Aware of my limited budget, I wish I could do more financially to help. But if I were in the US where refugees are likely willing to go, I could initiate talks with some politicians in order to find ways of offering shelter and protection to them.

    From Brother Zacharie Kyungu CFX in Likasi/DRC

  7. Pete Mahoney says:

    As a community do we own property that we could donate to Habitat to build homes-community- for refugees
    De we have finances to donate to Catholic Relief or Refugee Resettlement programs, et.c
    Ask Brothers, Associates, to donate and send it as a gift to a UN Agency, even if we each give $10-$25. It could be a welcome gift.
    Get XBSS involved: donate food, clothing, etc. to local refugee centers.
    the concept of diversity and peace building in the schools.

  8. I am truly grateful for those who have taken the time to express their thoughts and suggestions. Could Brothers in each geographical region try to find out what the diocesan Catholic Charities do in terms of resettling refugees. I know when I lived in Louisville, Catholic Charities was very active in resettling refuges from Sudan, Rwanda, Congo and Bosnia.

    I think Peter Mahoney’s suggestion is a very good one that needs to be discussed among us. Are there any volunteers to take up his suggestion? As Francis said today, we are called to be people of hope and bridge builders.

    Ed

    • Ed, I’ll volunteer. Many of our schools do Habitat. Fred Enman, SJ at BC is a Shrewsbury grad Class of 70 and builds houses in Worcester. Perhaps we could combine those efforts and focus on the Lower 9th ward on New Orleans. Houses could be built and/redesigned for refugees. That area has hundreds of facilities waiting for inhabitants. How else can I help?

      Jim

  9. Edward Driscoll says:

    Thanks, Jim. It becomes a question of logistics, doesn’t it? I wonder if we could get Brothers, Associates and others in each region working together. I know Saint Xavier has a Habitat outreach. If I remember correctly, the religious congregations in the Archdiocese of Louisville pooled financial resources to sponsor building a house for the poor as we kicked off the Year of Religious Life.

    Ed

    • Jim Malone says:

      Ed. I’ve had problems in forweding Fred, SJ s email. Basically he suggests that each school approach alums for financial support for refugee relief. Each school could then provide a home for refugees in its neighborhood. He finds with his law students at BC that there is money left over to provide household support for a few years. It becomes an ongoing program of each school. What think. PetecM likes this approach. Any more volunteers.

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