The Refugee Ministry
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you made me welcome.”
Who We Are
The Refugee Ministry of St. Timothy’s Roman Catholic Parish was formed in November, 2015 in direct response to a plea to sponsor refugees fleeing Syria. At that time, the federal government supported groups willing to sponsor refugee families that were languishing in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. A core committee of seven was formed and our work began.
What We Do
In short, we welcome the stranger as we support newcomers who are forced to flee their countries of origin because of war, violence and fear for their families. Since our inception in 2015, our parish community has generously provided the means to bring two families to Winnipeg and welcome them here. This ministry provides secure housing in the community for their first year, along with furnishings, food and all they require to settle in to a new country. We give them the opportunity to meet Canadians, familiarize themselves with our city and government services, settle them into schools and communities, and most importantly, provide socialization and encouragement in learning the English language.
While we specifically support the families we are officially sponsoring, we also find ways to assist other newcomers along the way when there is an opportunity to welcome the stranger.
The Committee relies heavily on the Community of St. Timothy’s to share their Time, Talent and Treasures in this ministry but we welcome all donations.
Time – a rare commodity – is valued by newcomers who can use help grocery shopping, getting to appointments, practicing English or simply visiting or playing with the children. Volunteers and young families are encouraged and warmly welcomed to this Ministry.
Talent – Leadership, tutoring skills, driving, furniture gathering and moving, child care, or perhaps teaching a new skill are all ways to volunteer in making the transition of our newcomers less difficult.
Treasures – St. Timothy’s has been extremely generous over the years in our fund-raising efforts, which continue now with greater urgency as we prepare, this time without government partnership, to bring in two new families. Donations marked for the Refugee Ministry can be dropped in the collection basket, mailed to the parish, or made directly to the Archdiocese of St. Boniface and earmarked for St. Timothy’s Refugee Ministry. Monthly pledges or one-time donations are both welcome and are tax-deductible.
Other treasures include gently used furniture, bedding, housewares, clothing, strollers or sleighs (depending on the season), bicycles and anything else that a family may need to function on a daily basis.
This Refugee Ministry began in November, 2015. Since the beginning, we have welcomed two related families for a total of four adults and eight children. Our first family have become Canadian citizens and continue to live in the community. Our second family also lives in the neighbourhood and is working toward independence. Both families value family and education as their highest priorities and are very grateful to be living in Canada. We are in the process of raising funds to bring two more families of four adults and four children to Winnipeg within the next two years. These two families are also relatives of the first two arrivals and the reunification of the four families will be very beneficial to all.