Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns launches Share the Journey campaign in Menevia

Earlier this month, Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns of the Diocese of Menevia added his support to Pope Francis’ call for the need to build relationships between migrants, refugees and local communities.

Bishop Tom endorsed Share the Journey, the global campaign launched by the Holy Father in September last year, as he joined other world leaders and bishops in making the “Reach Out” gesture of welcome – which is at the heart of the campaign – stretching his arms out wide.

“Hope is what drives the hearts of those who depart… it is also what drives the hearts of those who welcome: the desire to meet each other, get to know each other, to dialogue.”  Pope Francis.

 

The Share the Journey campaign is being supported by more than 200 Catholic organisations around the world.  CAFOD and Caritas Social Action in England and Wales (CSAN) and Caritas sisters agencies in over 40 countries.

The campaign is calling on all governments, and us, as individuals, to play our part in welcoming and protecting people who are forced to flee their own homes because of persecution, poverty and emergencies.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ special concern for people on the move, we are asking the people of England and Wales to step up and make their voices heard as world leaders draw up ambitious new UN agreements (compacts) on migration and refugees in September and December of this year.    There are many resources available to support you, but one of the easiest ways to add your voice is by signing the online petition.

 “If we bond with refugees and migrants, we will break down the barriers with which some are trying to separate us. The campaign reaches out to recognise, restore and share our common humanity.”   Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis

To support the campaign we are attempting to walk 24,900 miles – the distance around the whole world.  We are hoping that many parishes across the Menevia diocese will get involved in this act of solidarity, to Share the Journey with our global neighbours fleeing their homes.

Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns with Fr Mansel Usher at The Mumbles

Every step you take, together with others from across the country, will send a message to world leaders that we want them to step up too; to act with courage and compassion.

To learn more about the Catholic church’s response to the refugee crisis, CAFOD has produced a useful factsheet.  And here are some frequently asked questions about the refugee crisis.

If you want to get involved, you can download a copy of the Share the Journey organiser’s guide to get all the information you need.   And there are free campaign (cards) which you can order or please get in touch with us and we can support you as much as possible.

One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as individuals, communities and countries at this time of mass movements of people and global doubt is ‘Do I allow fear to prevail in my heart, or do I allow hope to reign?’

“Through ‘Share the Journey’ we hope to dispel fear and understand why so many people are leaving their homes at this time in history.  We also want to inspire communities to build relationships with refugees and migrants.  We want to shine a light and lead the way.  Migration is a very old story but our campaign aims to help communities see it with new eyes and an open heart.” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila

You may want to know more about the position of the Catholic Church in England  and Wales on the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe?

I hope this helps: CAFOD’s mandate from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is to support poor communities overseas.  CSAN (the Catholic Social Action Network) is the social action arm of the Catholic Church for work in England and Wales.  Their members support refugees who have already arrived in the UK, and they do advocacy work on poverty in the UK.  Together CAFOD and CSAN form Caritas England and Wales.

Both organisations support the Share the Journey campaign.

 

Schools volunteers needed!

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Can you inspire young people?

Can you inspire young people?

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are looking to recruit a number of new volunteers in join our Education team working in schools across the Archdiocese of Cardiff and the diocese of Menevia. Continue reading

A warm welcome in Llanelli at Our Lady Queen of Peace

Our Lady Queen of Peace Llanellil

Fr James Sweeney and parishioners

“Jesus Christ is the face of God’s Mercy.”

On Wednesday 6th July, Fr James Sweeney and parishioners from Our Lady Queen of Peace, Llanelli gathered together to reflect on the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy with Therese Warwick from CAFOD South Wales.

Pope Francis has asked us to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Continue reading

Bishop Tom welcomes the Lampedusa Cross to Menevia

IMG_9622Bishop Tom Burns welcomed the Lampedusa Cross to the Cathedral Church of St Joseph in Swansea on Monday 4th July.

The cathedral is one of three designated Holy Doors of Mercy in the diocese of Menevia, the other two being the national shrine of Wales at Cardigan, the church of Our Lady of the Taper and St David’s Priory Church in St David’s Place, Swansea.

The idea of pilgrimage is especially powerful in the light of the current
migration crisis and more people than every before are on forced journeys far from home. Continue reading

Lampedusa Cross at the National Shrine of Wales

Our Lady of the Taper

The history of Our Lady of the Taper is linked to a shipwreck in the twelfth century. It seems a statue of Our Lady washed up on the shores of Cardigan Bay in West Wales. As part of the Year of Mercy, Our Lady of the Taper in Cardigan, one of the Holy Doors of Mercy in the Menevia diocese, hosted the Lampedusa Cross, which was placed in the small Shrine chapel, from Friday 17th June until Sunday 3rd July. Continue reading