refugees

Refugee Service Homily

Holy Family RefugeesHomily given by Sherman Hesselgrave at a service held at St James Cathedral, Toronto, on February 1st, 2015, The Eve of the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, to recognize parishes in the Diocese that have been engaged in ministry with refugees.

Malachi 3:1-4    Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6      Hebrews 2:14-18      Luke 2:22-40

In 1956, the Hungarian Revolution started with thousands of students marching peacefully through the streets of Budapest demanding an end to the Soviet occupation of Hungary. It was October 23rd, the day I turned four years old. The revolution had a short life, however. Twelve days later Nikita Khrushchev sent in the Red Army and the Hungarian forces were defeated. 200,000 Hungarians fled to the West, and about 6,000 of those refugees found their way to Ontario. We lived in Fort William at the time, and my father was the pastor of a Lutheran congregation that helped to settle one of those families. Their son was a little older than I, and I can still (believe it or not) visualize the red and green checked shirt that they gave me as a gift. I was too young to understand the political complexities, but I knew that this family who spoke a different language had come from far away and they needed our help making a new start.Read More »Refugee Service Homily

Help stop the cruel treatment of refugees

Church of the Holy Trinity has joined 160 organizations across Canada in opposing provisions in the budget bill (Bill C-43) that would open to the door to refugee claimants being denied social assistance.

In an open letter to Minister of Finance Joe Oliver sent today (November 18) the organizations ask for the withdrawal of sections 172 and 173 of the bill, which would allow provinces to deny social assistance based on immigration status.

Refugee claimants, who are among the most vulnerable in our society, could be denied the crucial lifeline that allows them to survive and begin to rebuild their lives in Canada.

This legislative initiative is similar to the denial of healthcare to refugee claimants, which the Federal Court recently ruled was “cruel and unusual”.
Read More »Help stop the cruel treatment of refugees