Jesuits formation prepares the candidates spiritually, academically and practically for the future ministry in the Church. During this period, the candidates get enough time to serve, to accompany and above all to learn from the people whom they serve. Being one of them and a student of theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, I have had numerous moments of such experiences. The recently one was on August 2016; when my superiors missioned me to work at the JRS UK.
One thing which struck me most at the JRS UK is the way the staff members open the door for people: with smile and great love. On my arrival at the office, the moment I rang the bell, one of the JRS staff members was there to open the door for me. He welcomed me with great smile which made me feel at home. Little had I known that, opening the door for our brothers and sisters refugees and forced migrants will be part of my mission at the JRS UK.
Thus, the act of opening doors with love is part and parcel of the JRS UK. It carries out the mission of the Church which Pope Francis clearly says is to “heal the wounded hearts, to open doors, to free [people]” and let them know that “God is good, God forgives all, that God is our Father, God is tender, that God is always waiting for us…”. Hence, the act of opening doors with love is the beginning of all good things and above all is what JRS UK calls HOPE.
Therefore, JRS UK invites me and you to open our doors for people especially the refugees and migrants. The act of ‘opening doors towards hope’ can take many forms such as ‘accompaniment, service and advocacy’ towards refugees and forced migrants. Once we do this, there is HOPE of creating a ‘place of welcome and community’ like JRS UK. Indeed, JRS UK is a ‘place of welcome and community’ where our brothers and sisters refugees and forced migrants are given hope, love and support. Let us open our hearts by being generous and support the efforts of the JRS UK in ‘opening the doors towards HOPE’.