Our 2016 Parish Lenten Gift:
Welcoming the Stranger

Lent’s clarion call to love extravagantly is what this Lenten Gift is all about. For many years in preparing for Lent, St. John Parish has chosen to reach out as a community to one particular place of suffering. This year, our focus turns to the plight of refugee families fleeing war and persecution in their own countries.  Throughout Lent, our Service Commission will tell you more about our opportunity to step in and help Catholic Charities/Boston welcome the stranger and invite them in. Please look for weekly installments of the story in the bulletin and here on the website.

Dear brothers and sisters, migrants and refugees!  At the heart of the Gospel of mercy the encounter and acceptance by others are intertwined with the encounter and acceptance of God himself.  Welcoming others means welcoming God in person!  Do not let yourselves be robbed of the hope and joy of life born of your experience of God’s mercy, as manifested in the people you meet on your journey!
                                                                                                -Pope Francis, January 17, 2016

Telling the Story

The most recent chapter appears first; scroll down for older entries.

Iraqi_families_on_the_run

Lenten Gift Thank You!

A belated, though heartfelt thanks to Parishioners for contributing $17,789 to Catholic Charities Refugee Relief Services, St. John’s Lenten Gift. As you may be aware, refugee relief continues to be a pressing problem worldwide. Catholic Charities Boston welcomes volunteers to help with airport arrivals, apartment set ups and donation drives (for things like toiletries and household goods). If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the Service Commission ...
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Welcoming_the_Stranger_Logo_2

Our Parish Lenten Gift Concludes This Weekend

The St. John Service Commission would like to thank everyone who has supported our parish-wide effort to join Catholic Charities Boston in Welcoming the Stranger. Our Lenten Gift will allow CCB to restart the resettlement of refugee families in the Boston area, and will also present us with opportunities to develop long-term relationships with these families, by providing volunteer help with English language conversation, life skills and financial literacy assistance, and employment coaching as they acculturate. If you have not yet had an opportunity to participate in the Lenten Gift but would like to do so, ...
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Iraqi_families_on_the_run

Our Parish Lenten Gift: Welcoming the Stranger

This year, we join Catholic Charities Boston to Welcome the Stranger. Our Lenten Gift will allow Catholic Charities Boston to restart the resettlement of refugee families in the Boston area. It also provides us with the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with these families, by providing volunteer help with English language conversation, life skills and financial literacy assistance, and employment coaching as they acculturate. We at St. John's have this opportunity to Welcome the Stranger and bring Pope Francis' words alive- “At the heart of the Gospel of mercy the encounter and acceptance by others are intertwined ...
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Iraqi_families_on_the_run

Our Parish Lenten Gift Weekend: Welcoming the Stranger

This weekend we will step up as a parish to join Catholic Charities Boston to Welcome the Stranger. Our Lenten Gift will allow Catholic Charities Boston to restart the resettlement of refugee families in the Boston area. It also provides us with the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with these families, by providing volunteer help with English language conversation, life skills and financial literacy assistance, and employment coaching as they acculturate. We at St. John's have this opportunity to Welcome the Stranger and bring Pope Francis' words alive- “At the heart of the Gospel of mercy the ...
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Father_and_Son

Our 2016 Parish Lenten Gift: Welcoming the Stranger

St. John’s Service Commission has identified the current refugee crisis as the focus of our Lenten Gift this year. Caring for refugees is rooted in the Gospel and Catholic social teaching, calling us to respect life and dignity of the human person and provide for the poor and vulnerable. More recently, Pope Francis has stressed these themes and powerfully connected them with a response to the Gospel of Mercy. Many of us can relate to the plight of the refugees, as our own ancestors were among those who came to this country to escape war, famine and ...
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Somali_5

Welcoming the Stranger – Chapter 3: A Somali Family’s Story

Maryam and her 6 children, Binti, Zhara, Abdullahi & Abdirahman (twins), Shamso and Zeinab have lived in a refugee camp since 1996. They fled on foot with literally the clothes they could wear and a little bit of food and walked for miles until they found relative safety across the Kenyan border in a refugee camp in Kenya. The UNHCR registered Maryam and family as refugees in 1998. In they the camp they were issued a sturdy tent for their dwelling, firewood, and one pot for cooking. They received a ration card for food (oil, salt, corn, ...
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Credit: Maria Lozano/Aid to the Church in Need

Welcoming the Stranger – Chapter Two: Putting Faith into Action – How Can We Help?

For the past three fiscal years, the United States has capped the annual number of refugees it will accept to 70,000 people. There are plans to increase this number to 85,000 people in 2016 and to 100,000 people by 2017. The existing refugee screening processes are rigorous and effective. The vetting process can take up to 24 months and involves several Federal Government agencies including Departments of State, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services. In partnership with its affiliates, the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), through its Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) resettled close to 30% of ...
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Refugee_Migrant

Welcoming the Stranger – Chapter One: Who is a Refugee?

Like many of you, we have been moved by what we’ve seen and read about in the media: the chaos at border crossings, the wretched conditions in makeshift refugee camps, and reports that in 2015 alone, as many as 3,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to escape civil war and persecution in their own country. The full horror of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding on the shores of Europe was revealed late last year in the heartbreaking photograph of a drowned Syrian toddler, on a Turkish beach, after two boats bound for the Greek island ...
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Welcoming_the_Stranger_Logo

Our 2016 Parish Lenten Gift: Welcoming the Stranger

Lent’s clarion call to love extravagantly is what this Lenten Gift is all about. For many years in preparing for Lent, St. John Parish has chosen to reach out as a community to one particular place of suffering. This year, our focus turns to the plight of refugee families fleeing war and persecution in their own countries. Throughout Lent, our Service Commission will tell you more about our opportunity to step in and help Catholic Charities/Boston welcome the stranger and invite them in. Please look for weekly installments of the story in the bulletin and ...
Read More