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TRANSFIGURATION REFUGEE WELCOMING WEEKEND MARCH 17 and 18

Help us support the current efforts of Catholic Charities of Atlanta!



 The Holy Family was once a refugee family that resettled in a new country due to persecution in their original birthplace. Today, we as Catholics have an opportunity to practice our Faith, "Welcome the Stranger", and assist other families with similar needs who are fleeing their homeland due to war, religious or political persecution.

Pope Francis is committed to this demonstration of our Faith that he began last year --a two year Global "Share the Journey" Campaign -- to support our brothers and sisters who have fled their homes to seek a decent and safe life for their families. The Holy Father is encouraging us to answer the Gospel call to love one's neighbors. Become engaged!

Transfiguration has a special opportunity to collaborate with Catholic Charities Atlanta (CCA) in their current efforts to service those refugees resettled in Georgia. We are asking every parish family coming to Mass on March 17 & 18 to prayerfully consider bringing a household product to assist CCA in their resettlement services. Suggested offerings include the following household products that are new or slightly used:

  • Twin bedding sets: sheets, pillowcases, comforter, new pillow
  • Full bedding sets: sheets, pillowcases, comforter, new pillow
  • Kitchen products: pots and pans, dishes, silverware, bakeware, rice cooker
  • Bathroom products: towels (all sizes), shower curtain/rings, bath rug

These offerings will be collected at Transfiguration before each Mass on March 17 & 18, transported to CCA, and given to the refugees who are being resettled in Georgia.


 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE WEEKEND AND REFUGEES

1. Who are Refugees?

Refugees are immigrants to the United States who are fleeing their homeland because of persecution and are invited by the American people. Refugees undergo the most rigorous background, security, and medical screens of any class of immigrants.

Refugees represent some of the most vulnerable, but resilient, members of society.

In FY 2017, 280 refugees from countries such as Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan and others were resettled by Catholic Charities Atlanta. Over 20 staff members, fluent in 19 different languages, provided services to meet the specific needs of each family and start them on a road to independence.

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2. What is the “Share the Journey” Campaign started last year by Pope Francis?

Pope Francis began the two year, global Share the Journey Campaign on September 27, 2017 to support our brothers and sisters who have fled their homes to seek a decent and safe life for their families.

The Holy Father is calling us to inspire friends and loved ones by shaping conversations and actions to answer the Gospel call to love one's neighbor. This act of compassion and support toward refugees in the metro Atlanta area is one way that Parishioners at Transfiguration Catholic Church are Sharing the Journey with those in need. Click here to find out more.

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3. What do the Catholic Charities Atlanta Resettlement Services provide?

Catholic Charities Atlanta provides Refugee Resettlement Services to refugee families arriving in the Atlanta area. The extensive resettlement services are designed to aid refugees to achieve economic and social self- sufficiency in their first months in the United States. 92% of CCA clients are self-sufficient within 6 months of arrival. CCA also provides needed support services in the areas of employment, home management, crisis intervention, financial literacy and medical assistance to refugees who have been living in the United States for less than five years. [attach below picture]

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4. What is the Screening Process for Refugees Coming into the United States?

Unlike other immigrants into the United States the screening process starts with a designation from a United Nations Sub-Group. The prospective Refugee must demonstrate that he/she/family are subject to persecution in their homeland due to political or religious bias or exposed to life threats due to active war before being designated a refugee. There are eleven check points in all making up the screening process before the refugee would find themselves in the Atlanta Area.

There is also a short video produced by NPR about the Screening Process. Click here to see that video.

5. What is the current political environment and how is that affecting CCA’s ability to resettle refugees?

2017 brought dramatic changes in immigration policy in the United States. A series of Executive Orders, including a Travel Ban that halted travel for people from specific countries, paused refugee arrivals and lowered the number of refugees welcomed into the United States. The administration also ended the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) Program, cancelled Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for several countries, and ended the Central American Minors Affidavit of Relationship Program (CAM AOR). Additionally, Federal Fiscal Year 2018 refugee arrivals are currently set at 45,000 people, which is the lowest number admissions ceiling since the Refugee Act of 1980 was passed by Congress.

What does this mean for refugees in Catholic Charities Atlanta programs? Fewer arrivals means that fewer refugee families are brought to safety, and fewer families will be reunited with their loved ones already here. The refugee program is built around welcoming those who have fled persecution for a new home, and a new life, in America. Despite the reduction in new families arriving, Catholic Charities Atlanta remains dedicated to serving, to the highest standards, all who arrive as well as those families and individuals who are already here. We continue to need donations of household items, furniture, and other basic living essentials for those we serve. With the support that we receive from the community, our work offers mercy, treats all with dignity, and helps those we serve to transform their lives toward a bright, successful future.

Click here to read an article from National Catholic Reporter on the current situation

6. Are there opportunities to volunteer your personal time to assist the Resettlement Services towards Refugees?

Our dedicated volunteers help make these opportunities happen. Here are ways to get involved:

  • Become a Family Literacy Volunteer and help a recently arrived refugee family learn English and adjust to their new life in Atlanta
  • Be a "Strong Back for Refugees" volunteer and help us move
  • furniture into apartments for arriving families
  • Volunteer with our afterschool program at Indian Creek Elementary School
  • Talk to us about internships for college students
  • Help a refugee prepare for their first job by becoming a "Job Coach"

For more information, please call Kim Longshore at 678-222-3964.