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Welcoming Refugees in Salmon Arm, BC

Teresa McKerral and Eleanor McCloskey

Teresa in front row

Teresa McKerral, CND associate and member of JPIC Core Committee, sent us a very positive report of happenings in her parish. The Social Justice Committee of St. Joseph’s in Salmon Arm was instrumental in setting-up a committee to initiate and organize efforts to bring in Syrian refugee families. Other sponsoring communities (Rotary Club, Our Lady of the Lake at Blind Bay) joined them, and also a number of non-affiliated citizens. They are preparing to offer a welcome to as many as seven families.

As part of fund raising efforts at St. Joseph’s, Randy and Wendy Piccini hosted a huge banquet at the church in December, in part as an acknowledgment of their 40th wedding anniversary. They generously donated the food (and Brian Ayotte donated his excellent homemade wine) and then, with the help of numerous assistants from St. Joseph’s, provided a feast for the community. Tickets were $30 per person and open to all. The hall was filled to capacity with 166 people, from churches, as well as from the community at large. It was a very festive event and it was clear that everyone was experiencing the pleasure of sharing efforts to support the Syrian refugees. It is important to point out what a blessing it has been to be involved with helping Syrian refugees in such great need. The support and generosity in the community of Salmon Arm has been overwhelming. “We are reminded that the love and support we share with others are truly the hands and light of Christ in the world. Others will indeed know we are Christians by our love!”

Teresa holding tray



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