Julie Etchingham sends message of hope to refugee families

19 May 2016

CAFOD ambassador, ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham, backed our refugee campaign.

CAFOD celebrity ambassador, ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham, backed our refugee campaign.

Our ambassador, ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham, is one of hundreds of supporters who have sent a message of hope to refugee families forced to flee their homes.

Julie, who has reported on the global refugee crisis, said that those affected are always in her family’s prayers.

Her message of hope reads: “You are always in our family prayers – May God keep you, comfort you and at the end of your journey give you peace, hope and love and a warm safe home. X X X”

ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham's message of hope to refugee families.

ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham's message of hope to refugee families.

Julie’s son, James Gardner, has also sent a message of hope – a brightly-coloured drawing of a smiley face, a candle and a heart, accompanied by the words: “There is still hope for you”. 

James Gardner's message of hope to refugee families.

James Gardner's message of hope to refugee families.

Send a message of hope to refugees 

Julie and James’ messages – along with all the others we receive – will be dedicated at a special event at the end of the Year of Mercy. We will then share them with refugees in the UK or around the world.

Working with Caritas Social Action Network and the Jesuit Refugee Service, we have also created a new refugee pilgrimage reflection for parishes and schools.

Download CAFOD pilgrimage resources 

And together, we have sent every Cathedral in England and Wales a cross built from the wood of refugee boats, to be a focal point for people to reflect on the crisis.

Moved to act by the tragedy unfolding on the island of Lampedusa, Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio has collected wood from the wreckage of boats refugees have used to make the perilous journey to Europe, and fashioned them into crosses.

Pope Francis carried one of these Lampedusa crosses at a memorial Mass on the Italian island in 2015 and the British Museum currently has one on display.

Francesco Tuccio said: “I had never witnessed so much suffering in all my life. To see people going through so much pain - seeing mothers losing their children or husband - was very hard. It is difficult to describe how I felt when faced with so many tragedies.

“We, as residents [of Lampedusa], got to know the people, the victims and their families. I felt angry that no-one was caring about so many tragedies and losses. It was a real injustice. 

“We were on the front line to help welcome refugees, feed them and treat them with respect. I got the impression that to the media they were not worth attention.

“So as a Catholic, inspired by the suffering Jesus Christ went through on the cross, I wanted to create crosses to give hope and a better future to those who were suffering so much.” 

Send a message of hope to refugees  

Donate to CAFOD’s Refugee Crisis Appeal

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