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 Xavier welcomes Fr Bernard Hyacinth Arputhasamy SJ

FrBernardSJ.jpgFr Bernard Hyacinth Arputhasamy SJ (Regional Director of JRS Asia-Pacific) visited Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay on 6th March. Fr Bernard spent the day visiting classes in the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools. He shared stories of refugees from across the globe with the students, as well as the many ways that JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) helps such people. One story that particularly caught the attention of the students was the story of Khin, a young Burmese refugee whose family have fled to Thailand for protection.  Khin’s story is one of the feature stories for Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion. JRS and Caritas have formed a partnership to support the educational needs of refugee children living in Thailand. Fr Bernard stressed the importance of always remembering that refugees are people just like everyone else; as the gospel teaches, we must not deny them their human dignity.

Fr Bernard also spoke to the College staff about the role that Christians must play in the standing up and speaking out for those who are unable to speak out for themselves. He dispelled many myths that have recently circulated regarding refugees which are widely accepted in our society today. Most importantly Fr Bernard emphasised that as loving Christians, we have a responsibility to raise awareness about the plight of refugees in all parts of the world.