A Local Response
All of us have been moved in recent months by the plight of the millions of people who have been forced to leave their homelands as a result of the war in Syria and other dangerous conflicts in the region. At St. Augustine’s we have pledged to respond in a practical way, as well as praying for our brothers and sisters in need. We have been reminded in these days of the call of Jesus to “feed the poor” and to offer a hand of friendship and welcome to those in need.
For the past few weeks our Parish Youth St. Vincent de Paul Group (SSVP) has been co-coordinating the collection of items in support of the local Wishaw-to-Calais Appeal. This appeal was set-up to collect basic essentials for the large numbers of refugees who are camped at Calais. Our parish has now been set-up as a local collection base for this project.
We are, therefore, appealing for donations by the 14th October deadline. Items may be left in the Church Sacristy after Masses or in the Café (located in the Parish Halls and open 7 days from 9am to 3.30pm). Men’s clothing, toiletries, camping equipment and non-perishable foods are desperately needed tor refugees.
Those interested in helping with this project should attend a short meeting on Sunday 20th Sept. at 5.00pm in the Parish Hall.
For more info call Matthew Sharkey on 07824627873.
A Message from the Bishops of Scotland
In a letter to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the President of Scotland’s Bishops’ Conference has offered to assist the Government in accepting refugees. Archbishop Tartaglia writes: Earlier this month Pope Francis called upon every Catholic parish community in Europe to offer support to refugee families currently fleeing to our continent from the Middle East. He said. “In front of the tragedy of the tens of thousands of refugees escaping death by war or hunger on the path towards the hope of life the Gospel calls us, asks us to be ‘neighbours’ of the smallest and most abandoned.” In the days since, the UK Government has unveiled its plan to accept up to 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years and I note that the Scottish government is fully committed to cooperating with the UK authorities in whatever action needs to be taken to help alleviate this humanitarian crisis. In support of your response and inspired by Pope Francis, I write to offer the assistance of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland in any plans that may emerge in the months to come to support and assist the new arrivals to our country. Many of our parishioners hail from families with a history of fleeing conflict and poverty in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to find a new home in Scotland. In the subsequent decades we have established an effective network of parishes that exist to promote the Christian faith and thus contribute to the common good for all people.
Yours in Christ,
President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland