Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and CAFOD have come together to produce a resource to enable the Catholic Community to reflect on the European refugee crisis, drawing inspiration from the famous Lampedusa crosses.
The Lampedusa crosses, hewn by an Italian carpenter from the wreckage of boats carrying people across the Mediterranean, are symbols of hope.
Pope Francis’ recent journey to the Greek island of Lesbos came at the start of the summer, a time of increased attempts by refugees and migrants to make a similar journey to cross into Europe. The European refugee crisis, unfolding over the past year, challenges us practically, politically and spiritually. Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy throws this crisis into even sharper relief.
These very special Lampedusa crosses have been offered to Cathedrals throughout England and Wales and a small number of extra crosses have been sources so they can be used and placed in other sites of pilgrimage around the dioceses. If you would like to request a cross for use in a service, centre or parish please contact Libby Abbott (firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 095 5414).
The resource consists of seven short stages. Each stage includes prayers, facts and stories, and an opportunity to reflect on Scripture and the recent teachings of Pope Francis. It ends with an act of commitment in which everyone can take part. You will see that the framework is flexible and can take place in a parish, school, youth centre or on a coach on the way to a place of pilgrimage such as Lourdes, Walsingham and even World Youth Day.
CSAN, JRS and CAFOD hope that individuals and groups will use the pilgrimage resource in a way that suits them to reflect on the journeys they are making and those of others around the world. and that you will find this a useful resource for reflection and sharing.
Both the crosses and the pilgrimage resource can be ordered from http://cafod.org.uk/Education/Youth-Leaders/Youth-leader-resources.