A Novena of Prayer from 12 June, the Feast of the Sacred Heart to 20 June, World Refugee Day
Seeking to rekindle a spirit of tender mercy and loving compassion
for all those who flee persecution and violence in our world.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees today says there is a worldwide total of 50 million refugees, refugee claimants and people displaced within their own country’s borders.
Just like them, Jesus spent a large part of his life as a refugee. He fled to Egypt with Joseph and Mary to escape Herod’s murderous rampage in Bethlehem and lived there for many years. Jesus and his family knew well what it meant to flee from danger and live as strangers in a foreign land.
The Australian Church is no stranger to the refugee experience too. Woven into the fabric of the Church in Australia are the stories of successive waves of migrants and refugees fleeing from violence and great hardship in Ireland, Europe, Vietnam and other parts of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Together with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers, we are a living testimony to the recent history of human suffering across the globe and the yearning for dignity and freedom which burns ceaselessly in the human heart.
Pope Francis has spoken of a global indifference to the plight of refugees and displaced people. He invites us to reject this indifference and to, instead, reflect the boundless love and abundant mercy of God in our response to refugees and all those seeking protection from persecution and violence.
We invite you to join A Movement of the Heart, a movement of Christians seeking to be at one with the loving and merciful heart of Jesus. In particular, we ask you to show your commitment to this movement by participating in a novena of prayer from the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 12 June, to World Refugee Day, 20 June. You might also consider using material from this novena for Parish Masses on Sunday 21 June.
Let us seek an ever-deepening union with God through a renewed commitment to the tender mercy and compassionate love which flows from Jesus’ heart! May we become a powerful witness of this divine love and help to wash away the global indifference towards the plight of refugees.
Share this novena with others in your family and neighbourhood and with other students or work colleagues.
Use the novena reflections and prayers at the start of meetings in your parish or school during the 9 days or ask various groups in your parish or school to lead a time of prayer and reflection each day during the novena period.
Write to or e-mail your local Federal MP and State Senators, telling them that you are participating in 9 days of prayer for a conversion of heart in Australia and the world on the treatment of refugees.
Like the Facebook Page for A Movement of the Heart” and share it with others asking them to also like the page and join in the novena.
This novena has been prepared by the Catholic Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, GPO Box 282 Brisbane QLD 4001, phone +61 7 3324 3441 and E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org