Home' The Southern Cross : February 2015 Contents Page 18 February 2015
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Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 10am
St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral
You are invited to a celebration of the
Holy Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick.
For more information especially in regards to the needs of
those who are ill and need special arrangements,
please contact Robyn Carroll on 8210 8220 or
A Jewish couple working with Catholic
Sisters and Christian volunteers to support
Muslim asylum seekers fleeing persecution
– it could be the perfect marketing pitch to
promote the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.
It could also be a very real act of inter-
religious unity taking place in a suburb just
north of Adelaide.
At the Mercy House of Welcome, run
by Mercy Works Ltd in Kilburn, retired
teachers Sylvia and Bill Barnes volunteer
teaching English to Muslim asylum seekers
from Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Burma,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“I was raised to be accepting of all people,
and this is one way I can live out what I
believe,” says Sylvia.
She knows well the suffering of religious
persecution as her Jewish grandmother
and mother were forced to flee from Nazi
occupation in Vienna to the United States.
“A lot of our family was lost...but we
were always encouraged to embrace all
Sylvia and Bill belong to Beit Shalom,
the Progressive Jewish Congregation of
Adelaide, which in November hosted a
Halal barbecue picnic for asylum seekers
from the Mercy of House of Welcome.
"The picnic was a great opportunity to
show our families that Muslims are no
different to any of us in the ways we
consider most important,” says Beit
Shalom Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky.
The picnic was organised by the families
of the Beit Shalom Sunday School on
Mitzvah Day – when Jewish communities
across the world perform acts of kindness.
For the past 18 months, Rabbi Kaminsky
has been working hard to raise awareness
in her community of Australia’s unjust
asylum seeker policies.
“On a practical level, I have been
encouraging members to assist the Mercy
House of Welcome,” says Rabbi Kaminsky.
The House was set up by Mercy Works
in October 2013 and provides refuge,
English lessons, and legal, material and
pastoral support each day to 30-70 asylum
seekers on bridging visas or in community
Sr Mary Symonds rsm, a lawyer and
migration agent who works at the Mercy
House of Welcome, says the involvement
of the Jewish community in supporting
predominantly Muslim asylum seekers had
helped break down stereotypes and foster
great solidarity between all three religions.
“It has been a wonderful experience to see
Jewish people caring for Muslims along
with Christian volunteers.”
The Mercy House of Welcome needs
donations to keep running a food bank
for asylum seekers who are unable to
work under existing visa conditions.
They also need white goods. To make a
donation visit www.mercyworks.org.au
or email email@example.com.
RELIGIOUS HARMONY: (L-R) Iranian asylum seeker Anna Dayanipoor, Progressive
Jewish Congregation member Sylvia Barnes, Erfan Erfan from Afghanistan, Bill
Barnes and Ismail Rasooli (Afghanistan) at the Mercy House of Welcome.
A pilgrimage to every continent by the Prior
of the Taizé community will conclude in
Australia next month when Brother Alois
visits Adelaide to conduct a prayer meeting
on February 13.
This year the community – which is made
up of over 100 brothers from around 30
nations – is celebrating the centenary of
the birth of its founder, Brother Roger, and
the 75 years of its foundation in the French
village of Taizé.
Comprising members of all Christian
Churches, the community strives through a
monastic life to live a sign of reconciliation
and unity between divided Christians and
between separated peoples.
A Catholic, Brother Alois became Prior
of the community at the death of Brother
Roger in 2005.
Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Brother
Alois made numerous journeys in central
Europe to support Christians under
Communist regimes. He is known for his
musical talent and has written many of the
Taizé songs which are sung throughout the
On February 13 there will be an event for
senior school students at St Columba
College, Andrews Farm, and an evening
prayer at Brougham Place Uniting Church,
beginning at 7.30pm, open to all.
For further details contact Brother
Matthew (firstname.lastname@example.org or on
0475 089 719).
Taizé leader in Adelaide
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