Friday of the 4th week of Lent, 16th March

Lenten Journeys

Friday of the 4th week of Lent, 16th March

Hassan-Ali finds respite in friendships made at the JRS UK Day Centre

16 March 2018

Friday of the 4th week of Lent, 16th March

From Today’s Daily Mass Readings:

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those who spirit is crushed he will save. Many are the trails of the just man but from them all the Lord will rescue him.”
Psalm 33

Throughout Lent, we invite you to journey with some of the refugees accompanied by JRS. As you read their story, join with them in in solidarity as they face many trials.

Hassan-Ali’s Story

The relationships that Hassan-Ali has developed at the Day Centre have made a big difference at a time which was otherwise empty of support: “… the staff, both the employees and the volunteers, treat me and the other refugees as members of their family or as if we are their long-term friends“. Through friendships made at the Day Centre, Hassan-Ali has seen that there are many people working to help him, who care about finding a solution to his situation, even if he feels the government do not. ” … they talk to each refugee to find out how they and their family are coping, and try to sympathise with them and find a solution to their ongoing problems.

Many of the refugees served by JRS UK often struggle for a long time to receive recognition by the Home Office. But even momentary relief can help them to keep moving on their journey to obtain eventual protection: “Despite having a stressful life and being fearful of an uncertain future, … I start to feel happy and extremely relaxed whenever I walk into the Centre on Thursdays.

Tomorrow we will introduce Marischka, who is one of our Day Centre volunteers.
Hassan-Ali’s story is real, however we have changed his name to protect his privacy.


With important medical and legal appointments, it is important that asylum seekers are able to travel around. However with no source of income, a larger portion of what little money refused asylum seekers have has to spent on travel. At JRS UK we provide small cash grants that allow those refugees we serve to travel around London. When the money runs out we know that most are forced to walk very long distances.

What would it be like for you if your usual mode of transport were not available? Today, we invite you, where possible, to fast from the mode of transport you usually rely on. Can you get off the bus a stop earlier and walk, or leav your car and get public transport today? As you manage with a slightly less comfortable journey, what do you notice? In this time of fasting reflect on how much of an extra struggle walkling everywhere can add to the life of those seeking asylum.

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JRS UK are grateful to Hassan-Ali for sharing his story with us. Please do not reproduce without permission
Image credit: JRS UK staff welcomes refugee friends (Fotosynthesis/JRS UK)

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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