Parish Council: Gary Mitchell: email@example.com
The St Patrick's Refugee Sponsorship Committee was established in 2016 in response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis and a call by our Bishop for parishes to sponsor refugees. St Patrick's, in partnership with the Franciscan Friary, applied to sponsor a family of five while our sister parish, Holy Cross (in partnership with St Joseph the Worker Parish), applied to sponsor a related family of four. The families arrived in Victoria in September 2018 and are now gratefully established in their new communities.
To be considered a refugee a person must be outside their home country, unable to return to their home country and unable to settle permanently in their current country of residence. Canada is widely recognized for accepting more refugees for resettlement than other developed nations, but the number accepted is relatively small and the hurdles large. In an ordinary year, Canada accepts roughly 420,000 immigrants of whom about 36,000 (9%) are refugees applying for entry to Canada from overseas. In addition to passing an interview, medical examination and security screening, most refugees (64%) also need a private sponsor such as St Patrick's Parish.
Canada's refugee system typically prohibits refugees from accessing social assistance and similar programs so sponsors are required to assume full responsibility for accepted refugees for 12-months post-arrival. This responsibility includes supporting the newcomers financially, finding and furnishing housing, and, more generally, helping them adapt to life in Canada.
In 2020, our parish applied to sponsor another family of five. Canada accepted our application but the process remains on hold due to the pandemic. In the meantime, a trio of volunteers delivers ESL lessons to members of the family three times per week while we await further word from the government.
For further information contact James Murtagh at 250-595-8684 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.