As the nation prepares to celebrate Refugee Week (June 16-22), two Jesuit social ministries have formed a collaboration to jointly convene the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum, a move they hope will continue to ensure a warm Catholic welcome for those seeking protection in Australia.
The leaders of Jesuit Social Services and Jesuit Refugee Service (Australia) have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly convene the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA).
This collaboration comes out of a mutual desire to ensure a Catholic welcome is more widely encouraged, supported and implemented for those who seek protection in Australia through coordinated action and advocacy.
Formed in 2014 by Jesuit Social Services and Cabrini, CAPSA was established with the aim to build on the groundswell of support from Australian Catholics, link people together, and create a collective Catholic voice for change.
This CAPSA co-leadership arrangement will continue to be supported by the CAPSA Advisory Group, made up of peak Catholic bodies and national organisations from across the pastoral, health, education and social service domains. With the combined expertise and leadership from both organisations, this broad alliance of Catholic schools, individuals, parishes and organisations is well equipped to continue its work to change hearts and minds to compassion, coordinate actions and advocate for positive change to policy and legislation for people seeking asylum.
“We are very pleased that Jesuit Refugee Service (Australia) will join Jesuit Social Services (JSS) in partnership to convene the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum,” said JSS CEO Julie Edwards.
“We know that JRS’ long history of providing support on the ground to people seeking asylum in Australia, accompanied with their rich advocacy work, will complement the existing work of CAPSA and help to influence hearts and minds towards positive change."
In the short term, CAPSA will hold its National Week of Prayer and Action between June 16 and 23 during which schools, parishes, networks and organisations across the country will be encouraged to pray, raise awareness and take direct action towards a fair process for people seeking asylum.