Dear OSJ Family,

With all the conversation recently around refugees, I want bring to your attention a service of our Jesuit Family that is seeking to meet the rising demands of refugees. Many of you have asked how you can help those fleeing persecution and oppression in distant lands, so the Jesuits in the USA are encouraging those we serve to consider supporting the good work of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).

This blurb, taken from the JRS website, best explains who they are: The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic organization with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. JRS programs are found in 50 countries, providing assistance to: refugees in camps and cities, individuals displaced within their own countries, asylum seekers in cities, and to those held in detention centers. The main areas of work are in the field of education, emergency assistance, healthcare, livelihood activities and social services. At the end of 2016, more than 900,000 individuals were direct beneficiaries of JRS projects.

Gratefully, the Jesuit Refugee Service celebrated its 35th year in service to those in need. In addition, Pope Francis’ invitation to the Church to reveal Christ’s mercy, especially to those most in need, goes hand in hand with JRS’ mission. Again, Pope Francis has stressed that each of us are invited “to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time.” When addressing the current refugee crisis, the Holy Father has also said “the world is suffering from a ‘globalization of indifference,’ ignoring those who cry out for mercy. But it is time to change that.”

If you are interested in supporting the ministry of refugees, please consider the work of JRS, and see their website for more information.

Additionally, Dr. Bethany Welch, the steadfast chairperson of our Social Justice Committee, recently offered our parish community these additional agencies that will allow you to support services to refugees and refugee resettlement activities in our region:

Welcome the Refugee – Catholic Social Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia 610-876-7101

HIAS PA 215-832-0900

Nationalities Service Center (215) 893-8400

Bethany Christian Services (215) 376-6200

Thank you and God Bless.

In the Lord,

Fr Phil Florio, SJ