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Welcome The Asylum Seeker Parish Support
In a full-page ad in The Australian, GetUp and 71 other organisations have called on Prime Minister Turnbull and Bill Shorten to evacuate the camps on Manus Island and Nauruand bring them here. 
The BASP December newsletter indicates that the needs for housing continue as ever. People here on their own struggle getting access to housing—even when they have income. Private rentals are too expensive for one person. There are limited networks for sharing housing and asylum seekers are unsuccessful , usually, in trying to get a room via websites like Flatmate and Gumtree. Any ideas to tackle this problem would be welcome. 
The ongoing confusion about the future of the Australia-US refugee resettlement arrangement requires urgent leadership from Australia’s politicians.  
Read the Welcome the Asylum Seeker Parish Support Program December Newsletter here  

Faysal Ishak Ahmed, 27, from Sudan, collapsed at the Manus Island detentioncentre on 22 December

Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Melkite parish is helping Syrian refugees to settle in Hampton Park. Parish Priest, Fr Elias Matta says that the families are very happy to be in their new country, arranging for their children to be enrolled at school and are facing up to all the challenges of settling in. 

The Australian Syrian Charity is hosting a night of Eastern Carols by Candlelight praying for Australia and the Middle East, particularly refugees, on Saturday 17 December at St Charbel Village, 45 Providence Road, Greenvale. This is an evening for the whole family and will provide a wonderful opportunity for the community to join together in prayer for the many people who are suffering, particularly in war-torn areas.
In a statement released 7 November 2016, Bishop Vincent Long OFMConv has urged Australians to reject the "cruel and unnecessary measures" of the Australian government, in its recent proposal to ban any person who has arrived by boat from 19 July 2013 from being able to apply for a visa to Australia.
2017 is the centennial of the death of St Frances Xavier Cabrini, patron saint of migrants. Dean of Faith and Mission at St Kevin’s College in Melbourne and author of Finding God’s Traces, Michael McGirr, has written an engaging piece in Australian Catholics magazine. It's timely for us in Australia to be inspired by Mother Cabrini's advocacy for migrants and displaced persons.

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