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Saint Valerian

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General House of Marist Brothers offers to take in refugees



Superior General appeals to European Provincials to do the same

10/09/2015: General House

The general house of the Marist Brothers is offering to take in Syrian refugees after the Pope issued a strong appeal to the entire European Church to take in migrant families during his Angelus prayer on Sept. 6.

“Both members of the general council and myself give our full commitment to this wonderful initiative, offering the general house immediately to welcome a family,” said superior general Brother Emili Turú in an appeal issued on Sept. 8 to Brothers Provincial of Europe to do the same.

In an interview with the general house press office on Sept. 7, he revealed that he is “immediately going to get in touch with Caritas and see how we can coordinate.” 

“It’s a concrete way to give a response to this emergency that there is in Europe,” he remarked. 

He recalled the time when the general house also took in refugees, from Eritrea, when he was studying in Rome in the 1980s.

“The emergency now is in which way can we welcome them and make them feel at home,” he affirmed. “We need to see how we can coordinate and what families need to be attended.”

His comments came after Pope Francis issued a strong appeal to the entire European Church, including the Vatican, to take in migrant families during the Sunday Angelus.

“In the imminence of the Year of Mercy, I make an appeal to the parishes, to religious communities, to monasteries, and sanctuaries of all Europe to express the concreteness of the Gospel, and to welcome a family of refugees,” remarked the pontiff on Sept. 6.

In his appeal letter to all Brothers Provincial in Europe, Br Emili encouraged them to do the same.

“I encourage you, dear brothers, for all of us to be on the side of Pope Francis, supporting his initiative and making our church a place of welcome, kindness and mercy,” he stated. 

“I’m sure love’s creativity will stimulate you to find the best ways to provide the most appropriate responses in each case,” he added. 

Br Emili was in Lebanon from Aug. 29 – Sept. 5 to meet with ‘Blue Marists’ from Syria and two brothers involved in the ‘Fratelli Project’ – a newly launched project aimed at integrating refugees in Lebanese schools and getting them off the streets.

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