We Dominican friars, and all the Dominican family around the world, are constantly praying for all Iraqi refugees but are heartbroken about the sufferings of the ones we call “our family” in Iraq. I’m sharing a few paragraphs from the latest information we received from our Iraqi Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena, on August 30. I ask for your prayers to discern God’s will in what could be a concrete action on their behalf. Their last email is entitled:
Weakened and Impoverished
Thanks to the Church of Iraq in Kurdistan, who opened their halls and centres to provide shelters. Yet, the number of refugees was so large that the Kurdish government had…to open their schools to provide additional shelter for refugees.
We hear a lot about world governments and organizations sending financial aid to Iraq, but the refugee gets the least…People lost almost everything; they cannot even afford to buy milk or formula for their children. What saddens us most is that, only one month ago, these people were the most educated in the country and among those most likely to build a life for themselves and their family, and now they do not have enough money in their pockets to survive the day. Yet, amidst losing everything, accepting their lost dignity, is the most difficult loss they may experience. Some have found shelter in tents, others in schools, still others in church halls and gardens. They wait to be fed, or given food to cook; elderly are not being taken care of properly; children are living in unhealthy conditions; families have lost their privacy; women are exposed in these places; men have no jobs in a culture where a man is expected to support his families. Refusing to live without dignity, more and more people think of immigrating.
Our Lady of the Rosary, be their refuge and strength,
fr. Juan, O.P.