Welcoming a family of Syrien refugees

Notre Dame d'Espérance

At the invitation of our Pope Francis, each parish has been asked to welcome a family of migrants. The Parish of Our Lady of Hope took up the challenge in 2016. The community of the Daughters of Jesus, present in the parish, give us some feedback on this welcome.

In June 2016, a welcome committee was put together in liaison with three associations, Œuvre d’Orient, Secours Catholique and Habitat et Humanisme. The parishioners were kept informed of the steps taken and were asked to take part, according to their means, in welcoming the family, …. A questionnaire proposed a choice of :

  • Helping to pay to lodge them for a year,
  • Furnishing bed linen, material goods, furniture, etc.,
  • Helping the family to find their bearings in the neighbourhood,
  • Helping to teach them (French, computer studies, official paperwork).

Our community proposed some financial help, help in teaching and some material goods which the family themselves came to fetch at the community. It was a first chance to meet them.

The most difficult thing for the coordinating committee was, as we had expected, finding somewhere to lodge four people in our neighbourhood of Paris. It took many months and we finally managed it at the end of March 2017 when the family took possession of their appartment. The parish priest exclaimed, « I’m proud of our parish community ! »

« Today, with your support, we feel that we have at last got our life back together again. We are together at last, in our own home, stronger and on the right road. We hope that one day, in the not too distant future, we will too will be able to give, like you, and as we were in Syria … ».

 

Community of la Roquette 75011 Paris

 

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