June 20 is World Refugee Day

Dear Friends,

Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day. I am so grateful for those whose hearts have been touched to reach out and make a difference to some of the more than 65 million people throughout the world who are forced to flee their homes and nations due to war, violence and persecution. The numbers can be daunting to contemplate, but when I speak with those involved in this work and those who have found refuge and sanctuary in our communities, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and thanksgiving for the beacon of hope that has been lit.

Attached is the Statement offered by the U.N. High Commisioner for Refugees, Filipino Grandi. I am a firm believer that through the efforts of the global community, acting in partnership, we will strengthen our common bond in the face of the darkened voices of extremism seeking to divide us one from another. Blessings to those who are committed to this vital work.

We are privileged in the Diocese of Ontario to be a Sponsorship Agreement Holder and this gives us the opportunity to join with other community partners, churches, faith groups and charitable organizations to create the welcoming space for those who sojourn in this blessed land of Canada. One of the great partnerships that we enjoy is with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston. Together, we support the work of Mangaza “Mimi” Merrill who is our Refugee Settlement Coordinator for the Diocese of Ontario Refugee Support Committee (DOORS). Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the remarkable work you do which has touched the lives of so many fleeing such desperate circumstances.

Yours in Christ’s Service,

Bishop Michael