At the first opportunity after the two Iraqi refugees arrived at Pearson Airport on Jan. 31, 2017, they were welcomed by many parishioners after the Feb. 5th's 9:30 mass. The brother-sister family, Fadi and Mallak were joined by their relatives living in Brampton.
Many pictures are posted on the Homepage Slider-photos as well as under the Picture Gallery (under Gallery in the Top Navigation Menu) - http://www.olphtoronto.com/gallery/picture-gallery/2013-onto/2016.html
There are two events with the Refugees so far - their arrival at the Airport and the Welcoming by Parishioners, They are naturally in 2017 but they are temporarily posted in the "Main Events of 2016-2017".
Welcoming Iraqi refugees to Canada (Jan. 31, 2017)
At long last, the Iraqi refugees finally arrived at Pearson Airport on Jan. 31, 2017. The brother-sister family, Fadi & Mallak, was warmly welcomed by some members of the OLPH Resettlement Committee - Larry Pick (co-chair). Bob Lewis (Communications) and Marie Millien (Comm. Secretary). The other committee members were busy preparing to help the new arrivals settle into their accommodations, etc (below). They were also welcomed by their relatives from Brampton, i.e., Makram and his sister, Makarum, interpreter and future neighbour Hazar, a recent Syrian immigrant herself.
Pictures taken at the welcoming at the airport are posted in the Slider pics on Homepage. Additional pictures will be posted shortly in the Picture Gallery under "Gallery" in the Top Navigation Menu.
Numerous activities have been planned for the new arrivals.
- They were first driven to Quaker House and shown to their room on the arrival day - with the welcome basket in place from Committee member Jaime and her team. Fadi and Mallek were in good spirits but naturally tired after the long trip. A soft snow fell through the evening and the City looked warm and comforting. We are very lucky to have the help and open arms of Quaker House.
- Fadi and Mallak have federal health papers, SIN, permanent resident papers and passport with Canadian Visa.
- Tomorrow Jaime will pay a visit in the morning. We will make arrangements later tomorrow to have Fadi and Mallak sign the lease and hopefully pick up the keys to the apartment.
- On Thursday, Feb. 2nd, we will arrange the move of furniture and effects into the new apartment. We have the cube van and driver/owner Paul Pierobon from OLPH, together with a moving team courtesy of Scott Samuel the OLPH Youth Minister. Larry will have a car for members of Scott's team (4 seats).
- On Friday, co-chair Linda Tyndall will meet with Fadi and Mallack to arrange banking and financial affairs.
The parish survey is now live and ready to be completed. It is vitally important that all parishioners over the age of 15 take the few minutes required to complete the survey in order for us to get the best possible picture of where we are as a parish and how we can move forward into the future.
If you did not receive the link by e-mail, you can go to www.DiscipleMakerIndex.com and this link will take you to the survey. We now also have paper copies of the survey for those who do not have e-mail. You can let any of the parish staff know that you would like a paper copy and we will get one for you or you can call the parish office to request one.
The deadline to complete the survey is March 24, 2017.
-Father Jim Hannah
Further info and FAQ's are contained in CLI document ("A Pilgrim People -- Our Journey of Faith")
(Poduced by the Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI), inserted in the paper copy of the Jan. 22/17 bulletin).
-Father Jim Hannah Read More
Good news after a long wait for them and for us!
We have learned that our family of two has been cleared to travel from Amman, Jordan, to Toronto this month. The simple iPhone message from Fadi belied the years of anxiety he and his sister (Iraqi Christians) have faced -- first fleeing ISIS from their home in Iraq, then dealing with two years of uncertain days in Amman. As he put it stoically "I just received a call from the embassy that our travel to Canada will be on January 31 and they'll tell us the details of the flight later. See you soon."
Appropriately, we received Fadi's email this past Sunday, the Church's “World Day of Migrants and Refugees”..
Larry Pick, Co-chair of OLPH Refugee Committee Read More
Hello OLPH Refugee group volunteers,
Please see the attachment below - an update on one of our refugee families.
To be frank, we wish we were emailing you with different news but am pleased to know that this family will be safe, the kids will know education and their family will have a more stable life.
God bless you and yours,
Mia Toth & Jamie McGrath
Dear volunteers, OLPH Refugee Committee:
We need to inform you that one of our two families (the family of four, with two adults and two children) has been accepted for immigration and has moved to Australia from Amman.
We were given indications recently that this was imminent, but did not want to publicize it until the family's safe status was confirmed.
Bassam and Hala expressed their sincere gratitude for all the effort and care we have shown them. They had been receiving weekly phone calls from our interpreter, Bushra, outlining the Committee's progress and inquiring about their welfare. This seemed to be of significant help to the family.
They felt that they could no longer wait for approval by Canada at a time when Bassam was running out of money to support his family. There was little hope for either work or education for their children, while remaining in Amman.
They departed for their new home with gratitude for our offer of shelter said they will keep us in their thoughts and prayers and that they are very grateful.
We continue to stay in touch with our second family and are exerting our best efforts with both ORAT and the office of MP Chrystia Freeland for their eventual arrival.
OLPH Refugee Committee, Communications
Read More Read More
Many 2016 pictures have been posted in the "Picture Gallery" under the "Gallery" Top Nav menu. However, due to some technical issue, they were posted under the Year 2015. This has been resolved and the 2016 gallery is now updated on its own.
These include the following area:
- renovations in the church, including large scaffolding
- some Holy Week service
- Confirmation and First Communion
- OLPH School students & families.
If you find any captions to be incorrect or needs improvement, please contact the webmaster.
While there is no new development to report regarding the two refugee families, the OLPH Refugee Committee met with MP (University-Rosedale) Chrystia Freeland last week. Attached is the follow-up letter (PDF) sent to her and Immigration Minister John McCallum on April 8th,
At Fr. Jim's request, parishioner Prof. John Berkman gave a talk on "Physician-assisted Dying" as part of the homily at the April 2-3 weekend masses. Prof. Berkman teaches moral theology at Regis College in Toronto..