Catherine, part of the Justice and Peace Group at Our Lady Immaculate Church in Whitstable, reflects on their pilgrimage with the Lampedusa cross.
How could I ever know what it would be like to be a refugee? To have to leave my comfortable home in Kent? To be so desperate that I would make a perilous journey and risk being separated from my family?
Last December, over 75 of us gathered in Whitstable to go on our own journey. We didn’t travel far – only around the parish rooms, grounds and church. But it was a moving and prayerful journey, in solidarity with the many displaced people in our world. Explore resources and send a message of hope here.
Using music and scripture, we heard stories from refugees and learnt about why they have to leave their homes. We symbolically shared bread and reflected on our identity as children of God by being ‘forced’ to give up our passports, driving licences and cuddly toys. We were moved to hear the story of the Lampedusa Cross as we carried photos of our families and wrote messages of hope for refugees. And many fruitful conversations took place over tea, coffee and much cake.
It was wonderful to see people of all ages involved in the pilgrimage – it felt like we were really ‘being Church’ and journeying together. And it proved to be a meaningful way of bringing people together from local parishes and churches, from our schools and the local community, to learn, reflect and to pray.
As we continue to pray for refugees and to do what we can to respond to the crisis, we hope that our little journey will give us a new energy for working together to make a difference in our world. If you can, please take action on the refugee crisis : send a message of Hope, organise a refugee solidarity liturgy and donate to CAFOD’s refugee crisis appeal here.
If you want to find out more about CAFOD and how you could be involved join us on Saturday 4 February 2017 for our Volunteer Workshop. Find out more here.