Thank you for your acts of mercy
14 November 2016
Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instils in us the courage to look to the future with hope.
In this Year of Mercy, Catholics in England and Wales have sent thousands of messages of hope to refugees. Thank you so much for bringing mercy and hope to our global family.
We have received over 18,000 messages from schools, parishes, and communities across England and Wales. Thank you for your incredible determination to stand alongside the most vulnerable people around the world.
Welcome the stranger: a service of hope
You are warmly invited to a prayer service in Salford diocese on Saturday 3 December to celebrate the end of this holy year. Please join us.
Bishop John Arnold will dedicate your messages during the service before they are shared with refugees in the UK and overseas. As we enter into Advent, we will pray together for our sisters and brothers who are forced to flee from poverty, war or persecution.
Please register now and invite your friends and family. All are welcome.
Thank you for your solidarity
We have been overwhelmed by the strength of your support this year. From prayerful pilgrimages to school assemblies, Catholics of all ages have shown enormous compassion for our sisters and brothers. Thank you so much.
In Birmingham, 100 parishioners held a walk of witness outside the Conservative Party Conference. Caroline Spelman MP gave thanks to the pilgrims saying, “Churches, together, have a strong, practical voice. They are ready to step up to help people and as Christians it is important that we are consistent, that our deeds match our words.”
Cathedrals all across the UK have been presented with Lampedusa crosses, inspired by the Sicilian carpenter who carved crosses to remember those lost at sea and to welcome survivors. Young leaders at St Brendan’s school in Bristol erected a Lampedusa cross outside their school in solidarity.
CAFOD ambassadors from youth retreat teams have been raising awareness and gathering messages of hope and love for refugees from the young people they work with. Youth ambassadors from across the country brought these messages to Parliament, and spoke to their MPs about the refugee crisis.
Children at Corpus Christi primary school in Portsmouth diocese learnt about the refugee crisis and prayed together in a special Mass at the cathedral. Here is one of the beautiful messages we received from the children:
“I would like to send you my hope and love. Even if you have fled your home, your real home is in your heart. Stay strong and remember you are always in someone’s heart. Do not give up on your dreams because God can help you.”
The Year of Mercy: just the beginning
The Jubilee year ends on 20 November 2016, but we recognise we have a lifelong call to bring God’s mercy to our world.
Please continue to send us your messages of hope in 2017. We will keep sharing your messages with women, men and children who are seeking refuge.