Last Saturday 25th June people came from all corners of the Westminster Diocese for an inspiring prayer vigil to mark refugee week. This year’s theme was “All are Welcome”
Over 100 people took part in the event, including the new Westminster Auxiliary Bishop Paul McAleenan.
We were welcomed by Father Pascale Boidin, from Notre Dame De France, Leicester Square to his Parish which is home of the Notre Dame Refugee Centre, offering daily help and assistance to Asylum seekers and refugees.
“You may have heard the story of Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio. He made rough crosses from the wreckage of a boat carrying refugees which sank near his home on the island of Lampedusa. He offered these 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.”
The Liturgy was led by representatives of Justice and Peace and various other Diocesan including: CAFOD, Jesuit Refugee Service, Pax Christi and the Catholic Worker.
“It was a very moving and inspiring service. It felt like a celebration of the refugees in our community as well as those who work with them.”
The Lampedusa Cross will remain on display at Notre Dame De France Leicester Square for the next few weeks as a focus for reflection.
Inspired by the Lampedusa cross, and during this Year of Mercy, we hope you might hold a similar service in your Parish or send messages of hope to refugees through CAFOD, Caritas Social Action Network and Jesuit Refugee Service who will then be sharing these with refugees from around the world.
You can download or order the free pilgrimage materials and cards, to write messages of hope via our web page.
Download or order the free pilgrimage materials including short talk and newsletter announcement, and cards to write messages of hope.
Or order sets of CAFOD’s Lampedusa Cross cards.
We respond to this crisis in a spirit of hope and common humanity. As Pope Francis reminds us “We ourselves need to see, and then enable others to see, that migrants and refugees are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.”