Notre Dame Refugee Centre

Notre Dame Refugee Centre - London

Fr Damien Diouf SM, NDF London, Chair of our Migrants and Refugee Commission, recently sent this report: Notre Dame Refugee Centre has been working with refugees and asylum seekers for more than 25 years, thanks to the generosity of those who share our aims and beliefs. Originally, it was set up by Notre Dame de France in 1996, in response to changes in asylum and immigration laws that year. It was then registered as an independent charity in 2007. Like many of our supporters, many of our visitors are French speaking, but we have welcomed visitors from 98 different countries over the five past years. We remain a bilingual English and French speaking refugee centre.  Our immigration team...

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What an Angel looks like

A Choir of Angels - San Felipe

New Zealander, Fr Tony O'Connor-Hickman SM spent 12 years in the parish church of San Felipe in Brownsville, a town on the border between the US and Mexico. It faces the Mexican town of Matamoros, divided by the Rio Grande and by the border wall.  He previously had been on mission in Venezuela and Peru. San Felipe parish has been at the forefront of the migrant crisis in the US border lands. Thousands of unaccompanied minors seeking safety and a better life have been detained by the US Border force. Fr Tony and his San Felipe team have cared for, and ministered to many of these children. Following is an appreciation of his ministry.  [note: ed: By Michael Seifert - f...

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The Letter - Evangelization and Ecology

Evangelization and Ecology

The Letter: This film was released on Tuesday 04th October, the last day of the Ecumenical Season of Creation. Produced by Oscar-winning producers Off the Fence it explores issues including Indigenous rights, climate migration, and youth leadership in the context of action on climate and nature. The highlight of the film is the exclusive dialogue that the protagonists have with Pope Francis. The Trailer, 2 mins, can be viewed here: https://theletterfilm.org/ The Movie, 80 mins, can be viewed here: https://theletterfilm.org/watch/ Both the Trailer, and the Movie are good news that can be spread in every family, every community, every school, parish, and diocese.  The press conference was...

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Grandparents for Climate Action

Elizabeth Golding-Marist Associate-Grandparents for Climate Action

Fr Paul Walsh sm, Irish Marist who spent some years in Norway, sent us this news from Elizabeth Golding, a friend and Marist Associate in Oslo, who calls Grandparents to care for the future of their Grandchildren:  The future of the grandchildren must be secured. Now the Grandparents' Climate Action is fighting for extensive use of solar roofs on public buildings. While the state is raking in extra billions on high energy prices, there must be room to invest much of it in energy-saving and climate-friendly solar panels on public buildings, such as churches and schools, Demands Elisabeth Golding and Grandparents' Climate Action.  The organization Grandparents' Climate Action is a ge...

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I have observed.... I know... I will deliver

... I have heard .... I will deliver....

This Reflection and Meditation anticipates the 4th Week of the Season of Creation, September 25th, World Day of Migrants and Refugees As people of faith, we can add our gaze to that of God's. We can acknowledge suffering, share the promise, and be the witness and voices that help bring about deliverance. Introductory word "Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees" is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR), celebrated on September 25, 2022. Pope Francis highlights the commitment that we are all called to share in building a future that embraces God's plan, leaving no one behind. …Scripture Reading: Exodus 3:7-10 Then the Lord said, "I...

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Lest we forget - Nuclear warfare

Lest we forget - Nagasaki 09 August 1945

Fr Jim Carty sm, Aussie Marist, calls us, in our current world situation, to remember the tragedy of Nuclear Warfare The secretary general of the United Nations warned on Monday (1stAugust 2022) that humanity was "just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation," citing the war in Ukraine among the conflicts driving the risk to a level not seen since the height of the Cold War. "All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening," the official, António Guterres, said. "And when crises — with nuclear undertones — are festering from the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula to Russia's invasion of U...

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Carbon - The Unauthorized Biography

Carbon - the most misunderstood element on earth

Peter Healy sm, Kiwi Marist, gives us this reflection on a recently released documentary:  Carbon the Unauthorized Biography This documentary film made in Australia in 2022 is all at once a cosmology, a geology and an ecology of carbon. Our planet home's most ubiquitous element, it is everywhere, in our bodies, our food and what we wear. As we all know it is blanketing our collective airspace given the millions of combustion engines in most every country on earth. If you have ever wondered what the carbon cycle is, then this documentary is for you. The carbon atom is cleverly animated in this film and speaks in the first person about our current crisis of extraction, burn and overload. ...

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Marist Asia Foundation - inside view

Marist Asia Foundation-Ranong-inside view

Fr Arnold Garferio sm, current Director of MAF recently made this Report:  Burmese Migrant Secondary Education Program Thai Government Non-Formal Education (KOSONO) Preparation Program Marist Outreach Program A.   NUMBERS Student Population Towards the End of the School Year 2021-2022: 62    Students in Preparation Program 156   Students in Burmese Migrant Secondary Program 218  Total Number Students 25     Graduated from Burmese Migrant Secondary Program Examinations Passing Rate and Class Attendance Rate (End of School Year 2021-2022) 82 %    Preparation Program students class attendance rate 47 ...

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Opening of Harmony Centre - Ranong

Opening & Blessing of Harmony Centre - Ranong

Fr Hermes Larry Sabud sm, Superior of our Marist Community in Ranong, Thailand, recently sent this news to us:  Le P. Hermes Larry Sabud sm, supérieur de notre communauté mariste de Ranong, Thaïlande, nous a récemment envoyé cette nouvelle : Blessing of the Harmony Centre, Ranong, Thailand:    Bénédiction du Centre Harmony, Ranong, Thaïlande : During an interreligious and intercultural celebration on 10 June, the Marist Harmony Centre in Ranong was blessed in the presence of many faithful and their religious leaders, the Muslim Imam, Buddhist Monks and Catholic priests and also other civil authorities. The Centre envisions harmony in cultural and religious diversity in Ra...

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Sacred Sleep - Ministry with the homeless

Sacred Sleep - Working with the homeless

 Mary Ghisolfo, Lay Marist serving with Notre Dame des Victoires, San Francisco, California, writes to answer the question:  "Why Does Ministry Among the Poor Awaken for Us the Critical Role of a Marist Vocation?"  "At our best, we are instruments of God's mercy working to help others taste the boundless love of the Lord, especially those who find themselves on the margins." (Statement of Identity, US Province of the Society of Mary – Assembly and Chapter June 2013 The parishioners at Notre Dame des Victoires Church (NDV) are committed to supporting the Gubbio Project, an organization which serves the homeless, hungry and those in need of various health services...

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Laudato Si - Biodiversity

LSi-Biodiversity-Marist Family

Marist Brother - Francis Lukong fms - a member of our Marist Family Laudato Si Group - wrote this article recently: The International Day for Biodiversity is observed every year on May 22 by the international community to draw the world's attention to the importance of biodiversity on the planet Earth. The theme for this year's Biodiversity Day celebration is "Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth". A shared future for all life represents the shared aspiration of mankind. Ecological challenges remind us that we are members of the same universal community. Our basic call to survival is best captured by the Chinese saying, "all beings flourish when they live in harmony and receiv...

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Laudato Si - Marist Asia Foundation

Laudato Si - Marist Asia Foundation

Laudato Si Week, with the Theme – Journeying together – is on, you can register here Marist Asia Foundation works with 3 of the 7 goals of Laudato Si, in response to: Cry of the Poor; Community Engagement and Participation; and Ecological Education. Cry of the Poor: Education of Migrant Children The Marist Asia Foundation's migrant community education center happily welcomed two hundred eighty-five students to another exciting year of learning, on May 19. The Parents' support is very much appreciated as they accompany their children for registration. The first three days of school are set specifically to orient the students to MAF child protection policy, transportation safety, anti-bul...

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Inter-Faith encounter: a Marist's experience

L'Arche - Interfaith - Indian Batique - note the Centre

Sr Catherine Jones - a Marist Missionary Sister from NZ - recently shared something of her life and work,  with our Marist Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue.  She began with the Batique, from India, in the cover photo - which she said was designed for one of the first Inter-Faith L'Arche communities in the world. Their symbol is the center piece of the Batique.   Catherine was professed in 1970 and applied for a Fiji Mission appointment, knowing that Fiji was both a multi-religious and multi-faith society.  She was no stranger to inter-faith encounters, since they began for her with the Buddhists in Shotover River Valley, Central Otago, NZ, where she grew ...

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Walking for Wilai - Stateless children

Fr Jim Carty sm - Walking for Stateless Children

Ron NIssen sm writes from Sydney, Australia: Some weeks ago I was part of a fund-raising Camino, Walk for Wilai, a ten-day chapter in the adventure of tackling the statelessness of thousands of children worldwide, beginning with a young girl called Wilai. In a hospital by the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi, Thailand, and close to Myanmar, Wilai was born to parents whose origins are 'unknown' but thought to be somewhere in the border forests between the two countries. From them she inherited statelessness. The 14 yr old presently lives in an orphanage in Thailand. As a stateless person she is denied opportunity for education and the freedom to embrace young womanhood as a free person in a fr...

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Giriteka - Regain your dignity

Giriteka - Regain your dignity

Sr Christiana Nshimiyimana smsm - Rawandan Marist Missionary Sister - gives us this news from Ngozi, Burundi:   GIRITEKA is a project set up to respond to the phenomenon of street children in the city of Ngozi which, in recent years, has experienced accelerated expansion with its corollary of new problems. One of the consequences of this reality is the sad situation of street children given their ever-increasing number. The Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (Marists), called by the Bishop of Ngozi, sought ways to "recover" street children with a view to social reintegration. The reception Centre was set up in 2003. Since the beginning, we have been in contact with...

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Francis' Prayer - Ukraine-Russia-World

Francis' Consecration Prayer: Russia-Ukraine-World

 Pope Francis—united to all the Bishops and Catholic faithful around the world— consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday 25th March, the feast of the Annunciation. The Act of Consecration was prayed during the "24 Hours for the Lord" Lenten penitential service led from St. Peter's Basilica, which began at 5 PM Rome time. The official text is below - and offered for ongoing prayer and reflection:  O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, in this time of trial we turn to you. As our Mother, you love us and know us: no concern of our hearts is hidden from you. Mother of mercy, how often we have experienced your watchful care a...

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Pacific Islands - rising sea - maritime borders

Pacific Islands - risings seas - maritme borders

Francois Grossin sm, in New Caledonia, sent this article - November 2021 - relevant now and in the years ahead. In the Pacific, maritime borders threatened by rising sea levels and land erosion:     With rising sea levels and the erosion of their islands, Pacific states fear that their maritime boundaries will be lowered. They want to preserve their marine spaces or EEZs, Exclusive Economic Zones, as registered by the United Nations. From the Pacific Islands Forum to COP 26, the leaders of the countries affected by the rising waters carried their fight. To avoid losing their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and becoming high seas areas open to all states, they drafted a De...

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No to human trafficking

Josephine Bahkita - trafficked & Canonized

This week's blog, comes from Fr Kevin Head sm, written as the editorial for February's  Marist Messenger : Human trafficking occurs for many reasons – for work in sweatshops, illegal adoption of children, organ transplants, forced marriages, drug trafficking, begging and prostitution among others. When she was twenty-six, Blessing Okoedion went to Spain from Nigeria with a promise of work in a computer business. However, when she reached Spain, there was no job for her, she had a forged visa, and her traffickers said she owed them $70,000. She had no way to pay, so they sent her to Naples and forced her to work on the streets as a prostitute. Blessing found her way to a shelte...

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Border Town-Sleepy-what's going on?

What's Going On at the Border?

Tony O'Connor, Kiwi Marist, writes from the USA-Mexico Border:    All is pretty quiet here in February. It is colder than normal which makes people sleepy perhaps? Or is there a weariness in the air? At first glance nothing seems to be happening. Lots of planes fly over without our knowing where they are going or who their passengers are. Unaccompanied Central American Minors protected by a US 2008 law are still being allowed to cross the river. But with COVID the centers for minors have them all grounded from coming to religious services here in San Felipe. Trump's Title 42 is perpetuated still by Biden because of OMICRON so they say, which means no to asylum seekers Many peo...

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Nazareth - Family Reintegration Ministry

Reintegration Camp-Marist-Dakar-Senegal

Fr Roger Kasiama sm, Superior of our Marist Community in Dakar, Senegal, wrote this Report at the end of 2021:  Nazareth - Family Reintegration Ministry -  represents the visible face of a project that aims to intervene with children and young people in family breakdown still living on the street, as well as with parents and guardians in order to achieve a healing reintegration into the family.  After a brief break during the winter months, the center's activities resumed at the beginning of October. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief illustrated summary of the achievements of the Nazareth Centre in 2021 THE IMPACT OF FIELD VISITS&nb...

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