Maria Chiara is a journalist from Italy. She has been volunteering in CAFOD’s communication team for one month. Last week-end she got the opportunity to join St Mary’s “Share the Journey” walk in Clapham Common. She is telling us all about it.
Last Saturday I joined Ruth and the others CAFOD supporters at St. Mary Church in Clapham, for a Share the Journey parish walk. The sunny weather helped our walk and shared reflections on refugees. We walked one mile around Clapham common.
Share the Journey: a time to meet a new parish community
First of all my journey started with meeting the Redemptorists fathers from the local community: Fr Casper, Fr Richard and Brother Michael. I was also really happy to meet people from the parish community. We were twenty people in total to walk in solidarity with refugees. I felt so welcomed by the Priests and the local community. I could feel their loving care and they were genuinely interested in what I had to say. I wished refugees could feel the same when they arrive to a new community/country.
St Mary’s community : one human family walking for refugees
I really felt part of one human family on the day. We were women, men and children: we were several parts but one body… one human family standing up for the rights of refugees and migrants. It was an act of solidarity with our global neighbours fleeing their home due to wars, conflicts, misery, persecutions, leaving everything behind.
In total we walked twenty miles: every step we took, we listened to a story, we read prayers and reflected on questions. At every step we made the “Reach out” gesture, opening our arms out wide. Pope Francis made it first as a symbol of concrete action of meeting migrants, listening to their stories and sharing the journey.
It was magical for me to live this experience in England knowing that in Caritas Cagliari, where I work, we have also been taking part in the same campaign. We have set-up many projects to guarantee welcoming to our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees. we have also worked on their local integration.