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Refugees and Asylum Seekers

asylumseekers 675

refugees forever 150Julian Burnside, Australian lawyer, author and human rights and refugee advocate, has written an account of Australia's offshore detention regime, the Pacific Solution, providing a context for discussion and advocacy for human rights.

Friday, 18 September 2015 11:47

Denying asylum seekers a fair go

Fr Aloysius Mowe sj150Australia has put itself at risk of breaching the principle of non-refoulement, simply by transferring asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea in the first place: by transferring asylum seekers to a country where it knows due process cannot be guaranteed, writes JRS Director Fr Aloysius Mowe sj.

soc justice statement 2015 cvrAt the launch of the Australian Catholic Bishops' 2015-2016 Social Justice Statement, Bishop Vincent Long, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, welcomed the announcement that Australia will accept 12,000 more refugees.

Thursday, 10 September 2015 10:08

Vigil for those seeking asylum in our land

candles150Australia's religious leaders are meeting with political leaders in Canberra on 15 October 2015 to express their concern for refugees. Before this meeting, Australians are invited to a prayer vigil on 12 October at the Mary MacKillop Chapel in North Sydney or post a prayer online.

rca logoA report from the Refugee Council of Australia (RCA) explores concerns on policies and practices that undermine the successful settlement of people from refugee backgrounds which poses significant obstacles to community cohesion.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 10:02

Welcoming migrants and refugees

Sr Esmey Herscovitch rscjThe Catholic Church in Australia celebrates Migrant & Refugee Sunday on the last Sunday in August. Sister Esmey Herscovitch rscj marked Migrant & Refugee Sunday 2015 by reflecting on the readings for the day. She asks “Where are our hearts?”

acrt logoDespite the abuses inflicted on people in refugee detention centres managed by Transfield Services in Nauru and Manus Island, the company has been rewarded, not punished, with another 5-year contract, says the Australian Churches’ Refugee Taskforce Vice Chair Sister Brigid Arthur.

Kidz4KidzTimely video and teaching resources are available to highlight the plight of refugees this month with a student group's video on children in detention going viral last week.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 12:20

Families kept apart

Adelaide male refugees150Hundreds of male asylum seekers living in Adelaide on bridging visas are facing an endless wait to reunite with their families under Australian Government policies described by Mercy House of Welcome coordinator Meredyth Taylor as "deliberately punitive" and causing mental health problems from separation, writes Rebecca DiGirolamo.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 11:14

2015 Migrant and Refugee Week

Migrant and Refugee Kit Poster150Resources from the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) are now available in a kit which includes Pope Francis' Message for the 101st World Day of Migrants, a message from Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, himself a refugee, and homily notes and prayers of the faithful for use on Migrant and Refugee Sunday, 30 August 2015.

Wednesday, 05 August 2015 21:56

If you see something, say something

Fr Claude Mostowik msc 150Despite the wall of secrecy to prevent public scrutiny through the Australian Border Force Act, a growing chorus of voices condemns this law that is not about stopping the boats or protecting our borders but protecting politicians, writes CRA Justice Network Coordinator Fr Claude Mostowik msc.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:51

Love makes a way

Sr Susan Connelly rsj 150What we are praying for when we pray for asylum seekers is that God will help them through you and me, through us. The sub-text of our prayer must be that we accept our shared humanity with boat people, with all the consequences of that truth, writes Sister Susan Connelly rsj.

refugees forever 150The Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes or CLRI(NSW) has published a theological reflection on the situation of refugees and asylum seekers, particularly in the context of recent developments in legislation pertaining to the reporting of abuse in detention centres.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 14:11

Q & A with Sr Brigid Arthur

Sr Brigid Arthur csbSister Brigid Arthur csb of the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project talks to the newly formed Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) on the importance of building relationships and advocacy on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers.

Monday, 15 June 2015 20:43

Where do you, or will you, push?

Sr-Mary-McDonald sgsGood Samaritan Sister Mary McDonald echoes the advice of Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister: “To change a policy or practice, join a group that is committed to the same issue. Then, with everyone else, push”.

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 11:54

2015 Refugee Week

Refugee Week 2015Refugee Week, an initiative of the Refugee Council of Australia, will be celebrated from Sunday 14th June to Saturday 20 June 2015, which includes World Refugee Day on the 20th. The Chairman of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO), Bishop Vincent Long ofmconv, a refugee himself, has also called on Australian Catholics to pray for the Rohingya people.

PalmSundayMarchMelb2015Speaking at St Patrick’s Cathedral before the Palm Sunday rally in support of asylum seekers in Melbourne, Redemptorist Father Bruce Duncan reiterated Malcolm Fraser’s call for humane policies through regional resettlement programs.

Monday, 16 March 2015 18:59

Walk for refugees and asylum seekers

palm sunday refugeesAustralians are invited to take part in Palm Sunday rallies or various walks for refugees across capital cities to oppose the Australian government's refugee policies and to collectively show support for people seeking asylum.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:13

What are the limits of our generosity?

drawing children detentionWhen it comes to asylum seekers, what would it mean for us in Australia to give until it hurts? If everything in the gospel tells us that we should not cling to our comforts and riches when others are in need, what then is God telling us to do when faced with asylum seekers coming to our shores, asks Fr Aloysius Mowe sj, Director of Jesuit Refugee Service.

refugees forever 150Jesuit Refugee Service Australia says a report on asylum-seeking children in detention highlights the extreme failure of the government’s refugee and asylum policy, and presents an opportunity for long-overdue change.

Sunday, 08 February 2015 11:53

No solution at all

Fr Adrian Meaney msc 150Australian Missionaries of the Sacred Heart priest Father Adrian Meaney has returned with a heavy heart from a recent visit to Nauru, troubled by the cruel solutions the Australian Government offers to total strangers, writes Paul Dobbyn.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 16:24

Inverbrackie closure breaks hearts

inverbrackie 2015The closure of the Inverbrackie detention centre in the Adelaide Hills has affected hundreds of long-term volunteers, including Catholic parishioners, religious and clergy, who are continuing to support asylum seeker families now living in limbo in Darwin detention facilities and in the community.

ACMRO logo150The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) is deeply disturbed at the unfolding events on Manus Island where close to 700 asylum seekers have embarked on a hunger strike and warns that protests will continue to occur on the island, according to a media release last week.

Raneem with Sr Lorraine Phelan rsmThe Friends of Mercy Works Gathering held at Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College was a time to thank partners, donors and volunteers sharing in the mission. It was also an opportunity to hear Raneem Alqysie talk about her journey with her family as refugees fleeing Iraq to her new life in Sydney, with an education enriched by the Mercy Connect program.

candles150Catholic Religious Australia invites you to participate in the National Lament by joining small groups of people as a prayerful presence outside detention centres on the first week of December.

candles150Catholic Religious Australia invites you to participate in the National Lament Week of Prayer and Prophetic Witness from 1st Sunday of Advent, 30th November to 2nd Sunday of Advent, 7th December, an opportunity to be in solidarity with the people seeking asylum in Australia and those in immigration detention.

Sr Jane Keogh csbOn Monday, 10 November 2014, Brigidine Sister Jane Keogh joined other Christian leaders in a prayer vigil in Senator Zed Seselja's office to seek action against immigration detention of children. Sr Jane is the fourth religious sister to join prayer vigil protests of "Love Makes A Way" across the country.

Villawood 2014The Federal Government looks set to succeed in its bid to bring back temporary visas for people seeking asylum in Australia. Such visas will once again condemn people to insecurity and uncertainty. Send a letter to Federal Members of Parliament to urge them to oppose the TPV legislation.

JRS logo150Jesuit Refugee Service Australia recently released a paper calling upon the Australian government to help establish an agreement that will ensure governments share the burden of displacement and provide safe pathways for 8.4 million displaced people currently living in the Asia-Pacific region.

Villawood 2014Let us keep praying, engaging in advocacy, supporting those visiting the detention centres and engaging in conversation with our neighbours and work colleagues who may not realise the gravity of the situation.

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