Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bulletin insert for the Year of Mercy

The Jubilee Year of Mercy is December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016.  The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has prepared a two-page handout that offers a brief reflection on the Year, as well as ideas for prayer and action. It makes an excellent insert for your church bulletin. You can read it here.

Among the topics it addresses:
 - Jesus is the “face” of the Father’s mercy
 - Mercy is “the beating heart of the Gospel”
 - Mercy “demands justice”
 - Ideas for Living Mercy during the Jubilee Year.

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Syrian Refugee Crisis

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany has a website devoted to providing information about the Syrian refugees and the European migrant crisis. They explain that the situation is not new.

For more than four years, Catholic Relief Services and its local partners have been working to assist more than 600,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and northern Iraq. They are also working in the transit countries of Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Albania, where resources to help the migrants are limited. In response to the Holy Father’s call to help resettle migrants in Europe, we are working with Caritas Germany to resettle refugees by providing accommodations, job assistance, early-integration activities and volunteer training.

Many people have asked what their parishes can do to help refugees being resettled in America. Currently the U.S. is accepting very few Syrians. Catholic Relief Services and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops are working together on advocacy opportunities to expand U.S. policy on accepting refugees from Syria and Iraq, provide more U.S. funding to refugees in neighboring countries, and exercise leadership for diplomatic efforts to end the fighting.

Catholics are urged to contact President Obama and their members of Congress today and urge them to lead the world in a coordinated response to save the lives of refugees. The United States must do its part to resettle many more Syrian refugees here, and provide more humanitarian and development assistance to refugees in the Middle East who hope to return home or to remain in the region. Finally, our nation should lead a concerted diplomatic effort to finally end the fighting in Syria so that refugees can return to their homeland in safety.

The Catholic Charities’ website also has links to background information about the situation as well as things that we can do now.

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