Christmas cards of hope

Saint Francis Xavier’s Church in Liverpool, along with the neighbouring parishes, is delighted to have links with the excellent secondary school in the area, Notre Dame Catholic College. SFX Church pastoral assistant, Debbie Reynolds has the joy of supporting the school chaplaincy team each Wednesday.

On Red Wednesday, an initiative held on the 28th November promoted by ACN UK, a class from Year 9 celebrated Mass together remembering those who are being persecuted for their faith. The gathering on the day was also a good opportunity to raise awareness for the whole school about the Greeting Card Campaign. The initiative, started last year by Jesuit Refugee Service UK and reproposed for this Advent, consists of writing messages of hope for those JRS accompanies in detention.

The people receiving the cards are often victims of torture or trafficking, having fled conflict zones or their homes to seek asylum for a safe future. Beatrice Grasso, Detention Outreach Manager at JRS UK, said “Christmas cards are often sent between family and friends and so receiving a card allows those in detention to remember that they are not alone in this situation; that they are part of a very large family who are thinking of them at this time.”

Red Wednesday gave a chance to the students to hear shared stories that highlighted the violation of human rights and persecution that is happening around the world. One of the pupils said “A friendly note gives hope and lets them know their story is being heard”.

If you are interested in writing a Christmas card for those whom JRS UK accompanies in detention, read the top tips on the website. Cards should be sent to the JRS UK offices and will be distributed in detention in the week leading up to Christmas. Please leave your card envelopes unsealed as they will need to go through security at the detention centre before being delivered.

In order to be distributed, JRS UK needs to receive your card by Friday 14th December. Find all the details on the dedicated webpage.