Making room for God
The Editor

The Church and immigration
Michael Blume SVD

Where are all the refugees
Mark Raper SJ
'The United Nations last year estimated that around fifty million people world-wide were forcibly displaced.' Mark Raper, who is currently International Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service based in Rome, describes the world refugee situation and how the Church can respond but also learn: 'Refugees can teach us that human and central Christian truth, that hope comes out from suffering and even from despair.'

'Practise hospitality'
Clive Gillam and Mena Remedios
Clive Gillam, his wife Mena Remedios and their three children live in Oxford and are members of the Catholic Worker Movement. Clive runs St Francis House, a house of hospitality for asylum seekers, and Mena provides massage therapy at a local cancer hospice. Here they describe what the practice of hospitality has meant in a society where many who seek asylum are regarded as 'bogus' or 'illegal'.

What does the law say?
John Joseet
Immigration and asylum issues have become very emotive in this country. We need to make the effort to discover how the law regulates them. Here John Joseet, from the Office of Refugee Policy (ORP) of the Bishops' Conference for England and Wales, presents, with a commentary, recent legislation and 'sets out some ideas for a Christian response to the refugee situation'.

From a layperson's perspective

'Nothing from outside can defile you'
Ched Myers
Ched Myers is a teacher, writer and activist living in Los Angeles, where he is co-director of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. Here he reflects both on the biblical teaching on the 'sojourners and aliens in our midst' and the present North American immigration policy which seems to contradict the welcome offered to 'the homeless and tempest-tossed which is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

The stranger in the parish
Mairéad Butterly MMM
We can easily be overwhelmed by what the press tells us about the threat of immigrants and asylum seekers. Mairéad Butterly, a Medical Missionary of Mary, works for the Refugee Development Project, an initiative of the Brentwood Diocese. here she suggests small ways in which a parish or a parishioner can befriend people in need and so fulfil Christ's command to care for the stranger.

Preaching and Teaching the Word
Judith Champ
Dr Judith Champ, who lectures in church history at Oscott College, Birmingham, offers some reflections on the readings for the Sundays and Holy Days of June.

What can the Churches do?

Book reviews

Our Father: a new Catholic's daily conversation with God by James Harkess
London: St Paul's, 1998 £7.99

The Catholic Prayerbook, from Downside edited by David Foster OSB
Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999, £9.99 and £5.99

The Ladder of the Beatitudes by Jim Forest
Bristol: Alban Books, £8.99


The Ministry of Law in the Church Today, by Kevin E. McKenna
Notre Dame Press, 1998


Fundraising for Churches by Jane Grieve
London: SPCK, 1999, £12.99


Postscript:Blessed no longer
Bruce Harbert

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