OLM School and Parish Families Reach Out to Families In Need
East Greenwich, RI — On Monday, December 21, a group of OLM School, the OLM CAL Basketball Teams and Parish Families joined Pastor Father Bernard Healey and Associate Pastor Father Ryan Connors on a trip to the Diocesan Immigration and Refugee Services Office. Their cars were filled with coats, hats, gloves, other clothing items and gift cards which were to be delivered to fifteen refugee families resettled by the Diocesan Office to Rhode Island. The families resettlement was coordinated by Catholic Migration Services Office at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and come from Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea , Bhutan, Liberia, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba and Ghana. These refugee families are fleeing political repression, religious persecution, or suffer as a result of a natural or economic disaster. They arrive to Rhode Island with few possessions and are helped by the Diocese of Providence.
Several of the families including one who have recently come to RI from Afghanistan received the delegation of OLM school children and families. Earlier this month, Father Healey called upon the OLM Community after have been contacted by Stella Carrera, Diocesan Coordinator of Immigration and Refugee Services. She informed Fr. Healey that the 15 families were in dire need of assistance as they transitioned to life in Rhode Island. In its usual generous fashion, several members of the community asked “what can we do to help?” As Father noted, “These refugee families come seeking a better life with nothing but the clothes on their backs. To see the families from OLM reach out to make them feel welcome truly embodies the true meaning of Christmas. It was truly wonderful to share the true gift of Christmas, the gift of love, that is the Christ Child.” The project was the second time in as many weeks that the OLM community came together as Pope Francis has called us to do during this Jubilee Year of Mercy; to reach out to show Mercy to those in need.