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Welcome The Asylum Seeker Parish Support
In the wake of the Federal election, CEO and Founder of the 
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM, has written a letter to supporters indicating the need for increased advocacy and support for refugees and those seeking asylum.
The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum has released a federal election statement that calls for all sides of politics to commit to “language and policies that reflect a compassionate and humane Australian society”.
 
Sr Brigid Arthur csb and the dedicated team of volunteers at Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project 
(BASP) are confronted regularly by asylum seekers and refugees and their families who come to them desperate for help since the government cuts to the SRSS allowance. BASP, along with other non-government organisations, has been trying to raise funds in order to provide for the unprecedented demand for help being made upon them.
The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum's National Week of Prayer and Action 2019 is fast approaching. This year it coincides with Refugee Week, which is the 16 – 23 June 2019 and it will be during the first 100 days of a newly elected government (so it's a crucial time to send a strong message for compassion to our leaders from across the Catholic community!) Register yourself, your school, parish, network or organisation today! 
Traffic came to a standstill in Melbourne’s CBD yesterday as thousands marched in support of refugees and asylum seekers. Coordinated by the Refugee Advocacy Network, the annual Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees unites and gathers people from many different religious denominations and cultural backgrounds, political persuasions, and community groups, to take a stand for a fair and welcoming Australian society.
The Church is in a hard place at the moment, and the faith and endurance of its people and its leaders are being well and truly tested. This is not the first time Christians have been on the outer – Jesus gave his life for what he stood for, as did Paul, Peter and many others. Perhaps we are just returning to normal."  Adrian Foley of Catholic Social Services reflects on our call to endure during these difficult times.
“It’s just about treating people decently”, was the main message of those gathered for a recent parish forum to discuss practical responses in assisting people seeking asylum within our community. Fifty people from 16 Melbourne Catholic parishes and five Catholic agencies and communities gathered on Saturday 23 March in East Melbourne for the Parish Forum Helping our Refugee Families and Friends. The focus of the forum was on how parishes can assist refugee families and the Catholic and other agencies who support them.
On Saturday 23 March 2019, Catholic Social Services Victoria is hosting a parish forum on the topic, Helping our Refugee Families and Friends at the Cardinal Knox Centre, East Melbourne, 9.30am-1pm. This follows the very successful parish forum on the same topic held in August in 2018, focussing on how parishes can transform their desire to help asylum seekers and refugees into practical action. Book your place here
All are welcome to the Palm Sunday prayer, reflection and march to show support for those who seek asylum on Sunday 14 April. The day commences at 1pm with prayer and reflection with the Melbourne Catholic community in East Melbourne, followed by the pilgrim walk to State Library at 1.30pm. Then at 2pm, there is a public walk for refugees.
Download flyer, here.
"It is surely time now to reject the reasoning behind the restoration of Christmas Island as a threadbare security blanket sodden with the tears of the innocent. Let the sick come to Australia and be treated with respect." Fr Andy Hamilton SJ writes in Eureka Street about the Medevac Bill and Prime Minister Scott Morrison's intention to reopen Christmas Island for refugees and asylum seekers who need medical treatment.

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