This coming Sunday 5th March, the first Sunday in Lent, is being recognized by the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. As the NCCA says,
“The situation of many thousands of refugees and asylum seekers throughout the world calls Christians to respond. The situation of those who seek refuge in Australia is a particular concern to us.”
This issue is of particular relevance given the 2015-2016 Social Justice Statement put out by the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC), “For those who’ve come across the seas: Justice for refugees and asylum seekers.” The Statement addresses the very topical issue of those refugees and asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia’s shores, and encourages all Australians to welcome the stranger as their neighbour. You can read the statement here.
The NCCA has put together a number of resources to assist with reflection, prayer, reading and study on the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. You can access the resources at their website. The resources include prayers, bulletin notices and other resources that may be of use to your parish this Sunday 5th March.