Image by Australian Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office.

This year, we celebrate Migrant and Refugee Sunday on 25 September. The theme this year is Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees. As Josephites, this is a critical issue for us, and for our prayer and ministries.

As we know, Pope Francis has proclaimed Joseph as the patron saint of refugees, and in the Year of Joseph in 2021, we worked as Josephites with many migrant and refugee groups across Australia. This work involved reflecting on the plight of refugees, praying with them, and advocating with Government to improve their lives and ensure a welcome for them in our country.

Throughout this time, our young volunteers worked with the House of Welcome, to clean houses which had been provided to refugee families, to assist with food packages, and to offer a welcome weekend to newly arrived refugee families.

We also wrote and visited politicians with three asks:

  1. To provide income support and a financial safety net for all people seeking asylum in Australia
  2. To end temporary protection visas and create a clear pathway to permanent residency
  3. To ensure access to family reunion for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.

Josephites continue to offer support in the above areas and are urging the Government to work towards providing more resources for creating a clear pathway to permanent residency and greater justice for refugees. We are also working with a wider group to urge the creation of a Royal Commission into Australia’s asylum seeker and refugee policies. We believe that, in this way, we can improve our policies into the future.

To celebrate Migrant and Refugee Sunday, you are invited to a special Eucharist and afternoon event at St Patrick’s Church in Blacktown, New South Wales. We join with the House of Welcome in extending this invitation to you. View invitation and event details here. To register, click here.

Jan Barnett rsj
Josephite Justice Co-ordinator
Josephite Justice Network