Catholics across Australia gathered online this week for a prayer service for Refugee Week and were encouraged to look around their local parish and pay attention to those who have fled their homes in search of a new life. Source: Melbourne Catholic.
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office hosted the online prayer service on Tuesday evening, with 115 people registered for the event.
Those gathered online listened to the Scriptures, offered prayers of the faithful, and were treated to a song of praise and worship by the Ugandan and Nigerian community in Sydney.
In his reflection, the Bishop of Port Pirie, Karol Kulczycki SDS, reflected on what it means to journey together as the Church and to care for refugees.
“Love does not like separation,” he said, “and the heart is bleeding when someone has to separate and start a new journey in a different country.”
As followers of Christ, he observed, we are also on a journey.
“Every time when we enter the Eucharist, we not only join other community members, but most of all, on a practical level, we join Christ on the journey of our life … We enter into the life of Christ. Or rather, Christ enters into ours,” Bishop Kulczycki said.
Baptism in Christ unites us as members of God’s family … We are no longer strangers in God’s house. Looking spiritually, there are no refugees and migrants in God’s house. But from the human perspective, those who come from other places have to be fed and nourished by the strength of those who care, he said.
Bishop Kulczycki encouraged people to pay attention to other people in their parish. “Look around you,” he said. “These people in the pews, they are your brothers and sisters.”
‘They are your brothers and sisters’: Catholics pray for refugees (Melbourne Catholic)