Moved by the largest global migrant crisis since World War II, and compelled by the Gospel to stand with the most vulnerable, St. John Chrysostom Parish is following in the footsteps of Pope Francis in providing shelter and other assistance to families fleeing violence, destitution and repression in their homelands.
What are we doing?
Since June 3, 2016, our parish has assumed resettlement support of a single mother, Lina, and her 6-year-old daughter, Nami, as they begin a new life in the United States.
Lina, born in Ethiopia to Eritrean parents, fled her homeland years ago. After years of unimaginable hardship across many countries, the family reached the United States in 2015. On May 25, 2016, Lina and Nami were
granted asylum status
in the U.S. after a federal-court hearing in Philadelphia.
Bordering Sudan, Djibouti and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa, "Eritrea is one of the most repressive countries on earth,"
reports one refugee organization
"It is widely referred to as 'the North Korea of Africa' due to the government’s enslavement, torture and murder of its own people, even as they suffer from malnourishment and economic destitution."
Read more about Eritrea and Eritreans
The plight of the Eritrean refugees is not unique. Tens of millions of men, women and children across several continents are desperately seeking new homes in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. Thousands are dying in their attempts to flee.
The Holy Father has said that the global tragedy of forced migration "destroys the poorest." He is sheltering several families in the Vatican and has called on the world's parishes to do likewise.
How is St. John's preparing?
Led by Fr. Ed Hallinan, a group of SJC parishioners has been developing concrete steps over several months to assist one or more migrant families.
Our efforts have been generously and expertly guided by representatives of
, the oldest
international migration and refugee resettlement agency in the U.S.; St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in South P
hiladelphia, which serves many immigrant families; and The America Team for Displaced Eritreans.
In May, St. John's received an urgent request to assume support of Lina and Nami by June 1.
We are honored to do so. Our goal is to have Lina and Nami self-sufficient and on the road to becoming independent, productive citizenship within 12 months.
We ask your prayers for Lina, Nami and all persons suffering in this global migration tragedy.
- Financial donations. Donations may be placed in the collection basket or dropped off at the Parish House using:
- Check (payable to St. John Chrysostom, noting Lina & Nami in the memo field);
- Cash (in a sealed envelope marked Lina & Nami); and/or
- An online contribution through Parish Giving (select Refugee Family Support from the dropdown collection options).
- Love, support and fellowship. Like all of our ancestors, Lina and Nami will have much to learn about navigating life in the United States. They will need steady friends and companions on their journey, who can help them learn the skills, foster the connections, and gain the confidence they need to develop fruitful and independent lives here.
(email@example.com or 610-874-6643)
(firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-874-3418 x 106)
Read Fr. Ed's letter on Lina and Nami.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Eritrea Fact Sheet
UNHCR - Eritrea Plan
UNHCR - Resettlement
Recent Statistics Regarding Eritrean Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Migrant Crisis: Migration to Europe Explained in Seven Charts