Over the bank holiday weekend, parishioners from acros Plymouth Diocese gathered together to take part in a Share the Journey event at Buckfast Abbey. Nicholas Hanrahan, our Community Outreach Officer, was invited to speak about the importance of accompaniment to the work of JRS UK as part of the event organised by the Justice & Peace and CAFOD groups of the Diocese.
The Share the Journey campaign is coordinated by Caritas International and focuses on encouraging all people to welcome migrants and refugees as brothers and sisters, sharing in their journey and welcoming them in their new communities. It is a response to Pope Francis’ calls to promote a culture of encounter to dispel the indifference that we often see in the world today. The campaign focuses on building a culture of welcome in host communities and asks for us to stand up for the rights of migrants and refugees.
The event at Buckfast Abbey brought together people from throughout the Diocese of Plymouth to raise awareness about Share the Journey and to help them make plans to support the campaign in their local parishes and schools. Bishop Mark O’Toole gave an opening address challenging all present to think about the migration stories of their own families, representatives from CAFOD gave an overview of the campaign and then introduced OKUP, partners of CAFOD who work to protect the rights of Bangladeshi migrants. Nick Hanrahan, JRS UK’s Community Outreach Officer, then talked about the work that JRS do and about the importance of accompaniment in our work. The day closed with a session on ways to take part in the campaign and on projects that are currently taking place in the South West to support migrants and refugees for those looking to get involved.
Nick Hanrahan, who represented JRS, said: “It was a pleasure and a privilege to take part in this event celebrating the Share the Journey campaign. It was fantastic to see so many people who are passionate about supporting the rights of migrants and refugees, and to hear inspirational stories of how they are already engaged in welcoming refugees in the South West. Sharing JRS’s mission of accompaniment was a great opportunity to encourage participants to really journey alongside the brothers and sisters they serve.”
If you’re interested in helping to raise the voices of refugees in the UK or learning more about JRS UK’s work, contact Nick to arrange a speaker from JRS come to speak at your Parish, School or youth group: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Share the Journey campaign, visit: http://journey.caritas.org/