The 2016 JRS Ireland Intercultural & Interfaith Calendar is now on sale and it is an important resource for teachers and anyone wishing to celebrate or raise awareness of diversity in Ireland.
In addition to the usual imagery showcasing the work of JRS Ireland, photographs highlighting some of the humanitarian impacts of the European Refugee Crisis have also been included in this year’s calendar.
Religious feast days from different faiths, national days, international UN celebrations and bank holidays in the Republic of Ireland are all highlighted and each month is also accompanied by a quote to encourage reflection and greater understanding of diverse religious and cultural traditions. These quotes aim to increase intercultural and interfaith awareness, contributing to the development of an open, inclusive and dynamic Irish society in which all residents are valued, regardless of their nationality, religion or ethnic background.
The cost of each calendar is only €5 (+ post and postage) and the proceeds will go towards JRS projects in Ireland. There are also special offer prices of 5 calendars for €20 and 10 calendars for €35.
If you wish to order any copies you can contact Leah Healy or Marta Hernandez at 00353 1 814 8644 or send an email to [email protected]
The JRS have also been busy with their Christmas toy appeal. This year parishioners from Gardiner Street Church, students from Belvedere College SJ, Irish Jesuit Missions and local businesses in the Gardiner St area have come together to assist the JRS in offering welcome to refugees. By volunteering, fundraising and donating in unprecedented numbers, this community of hospitality is helping to make the 2015 JRS Ireland Christmas Toy Appeal on of the most successful appeal in years, according to David Moriarty, Policy and Advocacy Officer with JRS Ireland.
“It would be easy to become overwhelmed and feel helpless to respond to the plight of the thousands of men, women and children risking their lives on a daily basis to find safety and refuge in Europe,” he adds, “The sheer scale of the crisis and recent tragic events in Paris have severely tested the outpouring of public goodwill and support. At the same time, those asylum seekers already in Ireland but living long term in Direct Provision can still see no end in sight to the limbo they are enduring. We are compelled to respond. We are called to act.”
Gerry Clarke SJ, PP of Gardiner St, has enlisted the help of the local community and parishioners in collecting toys and parcels for the children of asylum seekers and refugees. The local community has rowed in to help and the students of Belvedere College, just round the corner from the school, are now set for a few days of gift wrapping. Staff from the close by Jesuit Refugee Service office will collect the toys and deliver them to centers all around the country including Galway, Limerick and Meath.
The sharing of work and a common mission of hospitality by the various Jesuit works in the Gardiner St area is a fruitful start to future collaboration on joint projects by Jesuits and colleagues engaged in a variety of works of faith and justice in that inner city locality.