Refugees in the Middle-East to receive wishes from Canada
Montreal-Gatineau, November 5, 2015 — Profoundly touched by the fate of Christian refugees in the Middle-East who are obliged to stay despite the conflicts, Chantal Lareau, a benefactor of Aid to the Church in Need Canada (ACN), let her “Missionary Heart” speak.
“The fate of Christians in the Middle-East is something that moves me deeply,” she explained. “I do not know how to do this work [missionary].” And then she exclaims “If I could only write to them!” So she submitted the idea to a person in with whom she works to animate a group of young people ages 12 to 17 in her parish – St Mark in Quebec (Gatineau region). They accepted her idea; the young people will write Christmas Cards and send wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
When the parish priest, Father Dan Kelly, learned of the idea – he thought it was so good that he decided to invite his whole parish to contribute! “So, I presented the idea at all three masses over the weekend,” and people really got into the idea. Furthermore, the video of Myriam was also presented at the 11 am Mass, it was magical!”
A transformative little girl
Produced by SAT7TV, a Catholic Lebanese network supported by Aid to the Church in Need, the seven minute long clip introducing little Myriam from Qaraqosh, Iraq – went viral over social media.
In it, she declares having no resentment toward those who took away her home, Islamic State (ISIS). “ I will not do anything to them. I will only ask God to forgive them,” she said to the interviewer and adding: “Kill them? Why kill them?”
“When we presented the video, it was full [the church]: many adults were weeping, moved by the faith of this little girl,” explained Chantal Lareau. Other parishioners experience different kinds of awareness, from the abundance we have here to the fact that God forgives. “ One woman was angry with God. But to see little ten year old girl who forgives and says she is not angry with God, overwhelmed her. In fact, everyone was moved,” she said.
Great was the surprise when they realized that there are Christians in the Middle-East, or for the younger generation to realize that children like themselves have no homes and must live in refugee camps.
Christmas Cards for refugees in the Middle-East
Chantal Lareau’s initiative has snow balled! Aid to the Church in Need who she has supported for many years is getting on board and asking its benefactors and all interested people to get on board as well and participate in this wonderful initiative.
On its Facebook page, the Canadian section of the international Catholic charity has invited all to send their Christmas and New Year wishes which will be destined for refugees in the Middle East.
Left to right : A parishioner at St. Mark, Chantal Lareau and Father Dan Kelly.
(Thanks to : Chantal Lareau)
“The kids would like to get involved with the persecuted Catholics by writing them letters,” wrote Chantal Lareau when she submitted her project last October. Thanks to her for sharing her idea, and now it’s your turn to participate in this momentum of solidarity!
Christmas cards can be sent to ACN at the Montreal office:
Aid to the Church in Need (Canada), Christmas Card Project, Post office box 670, Station H, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 2M6. Ou send your wishes virtually by writing to the following email address created specifically for this reason : email@example.com. The campaign will end: Monday November, 23 at 5pm.
By Mario Bard, ACN Canada
Translation by Amanda Bridget Griffin