It is great to see how schools across the diocese have been reflecting on the refugee crisis and responding in various ways to their plight. CAFOD has managed to get a Lampedusa Cross for every Cathedral in England and Wales and in our diocese of Northampton, the cross has been shared with schools and parishes. It stands as a wonderful symbol of solidarity and hope with refugees.
St Teresa’s Primary school in Princes Risborough also borrowed the Lampedusa Cross and invited Father Wayne Coughlin, Parish Priest in Great Missenden and Wendover, to talk to the about it on Monday 14 November. Chaplain Jackie Aggett writes :
Father Wayne described how an Italian carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, had met some migrants at his local church who had lost loved ones when they had drowned during the dangerous Mediterranean crossing fleeing from war torn countries. Francesco was so moved that he began collecting driftwood from the wreckage of the migrants boats that had washed up on Lampedusa’s shores. This he made into small crosses and gave to those who had lost loved ones.
We were very moved at seeing and touching the Lampedusa Cross, which the carpenter made for the migrants as a symbol of their rescue and of hope for a new life. The Lampedusa Cross and the plight of the migrants became a focus for our school’s Advent Service.
Every child wrote a message of hope to send to the migrants. These are some of them :
“I know it seems like there is no love, peace or joy, but there is. I know.”
“You won’t get any Christmas, Easter or birthday presents, but I’ll pray for you.”
“You may not be lucky now, but your future could be great. Just have love, hope, faith and perseverence and you’ll never know what will happen.”
“My message to you is to keep moving, keep on going even though it seems hopeless. Never give up hope! There is always light after darkness, and a rise after a fall.”
“Remember…Hope, because that way you will get through things. Stay calm. Love and hope are two of the most important things in the world, and you will always find someone to love you in this world and the next. God loves you. You just need to believe.”
Thanks to St Teresa’s school and Fr Wayne for your support. Really inspiring!
CAFOD has so far received an astounding 24,000 messages of hope from parishes and schools across England and Wales. A wonderful sign of solidarity. These will be given to refugees.