September 14, 2015 - The Jesuits in Canada are calling on the Government of Canada to respond more effectively to the Syrian refugee crisis and the ongoing tragedy in the Middle East.
In the below letter, Jesuit Fathers Jean Marc Biron, SJ and Peter Bisson, SJ, ask the Government of Canada to commit to the following:
1. Canada should welcome at least 10,000 more Syrian refugees over and above the regular resettlement numbers.
2. Canada should increase humanitarian assistance to the region.
3. Canada should help build peace in the region.
The letter was also sent to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the leaders of all the major political parties.
Jesuits and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) are on the ground in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, providing emergency assistance to refugees fleeing conflict zones. They are also providing relief to those arriving in Europe.
The Jesuits join Pope Francis who recently called on Catholic institutions to take concrete action by asking each one of them to take in a refugee family.
The Jesuits, an order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, have worked in Canada for more than 400 years. They have responsibility for the direction of schools, colleges, parishes, retreat houses and social justice ministries that span the country from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Vancouver, British Columbia. There are currently 280 Jesuits serving in Canada.