In the margins of the 2018 Conference a few delegates gathered on Saturday afternoon to discuss the important work being undertaken by individual members to support asylum seekers and refugees. In particular, discussion centred around whether it would be possible to support those members at a more formal level.
One area that was considered to be of acute importance was support for those who are returned to their countries of origin by the Home Office. It was thought that the newly-formed Global Network of Rainbow Catholics could be a useful starting point in identifying support in those countries. As always, the important matter of funding such work came up.
The Sisters of Lorretto in the US may be one source, as recommended by Sister Jeannine Gramick during her visit to conference in 2017, but others closer to home, specialising in asylum and refugee cases, will also need to be identified and approached.
The conclusion reached was to progress the concerns raised as soon as possible and to present them to the Quest National Committee for the group to be given formal recognition.
At its 8th September meeting this item appeared on the agenda and was the subject of much discussion. The general principle of supporting LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees was acknowledged and supported. The method of how this could be carried forward under the terms of the existing constitution needs further clarification and has been referred back to the working group.
Jesus, in your kindness watch over migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, those separated from their loved ones, those who are lost and those who have been exiled from their homes.
Bring them safely to the place where they long to be, and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and those in need. Amen.