Irish Red Cross presents to Diocesan Immigrants Representatives

by | 13 Mar, 2024 | Bishops, Church, News

On 8 March, for the first time as a network, diocesan immigrant representatives came together in Columba Centre, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, to discuss current and future challenges.  The gathering was held following a request from the Bishops of Ireland that each of the 26 dioceses on the island appoint an ‘Immigrants Liaison Person’ as a point of contact for matters associated with outreach to immigrant communities, and to promote integration at a local level.

The event was opened by a prayer service led by Sister Julie Doran OLA, a member of the Council for Immigrants of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.  Bishop Michael Duignan of Galway and Clonfert, who is chair of the Bishops’ Council for Immigrants, welcomed all present, and said, “there is potential in the Church in Ireland to build a culture of encounter where we can meet those who seek refuge among us as people – mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters – people just like you or me with our own particular stories.  Families, just like yours and mine, with their hopes and dreams that tomorrow might be somewhat better than today.”

Other speakers at the event included Presentation Brother, Kevin Mascarenhas of Churches of Sanctuary and Schools of Sanctuary; Mr Ronan Barry of the Spiritan Mission Ireland Orientation Programme for incoming pastoral workers; Father Neil Xavier O’Donoghue of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, who spoke on liturgical outreach to immigrant communities; and Mr Liam O’Dwyer and Ms Anna Kierans of the Irish Red Cross, who presented on the logistics and experience of people who have participated in a Community Sponsorship Programme.

Each diocesan representative will be engaging with parishes and future meetings of the network are being organised.

ENDS

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