Please take a look at the attached poster for information on a unique opportunity to welcome the stranger on Saturday, Oct 14th. This is a collaboration between our diocese and the Diocese of Quebec.
The following is an excerpt from a letter by The Rev. Canon Jeffrey Metcalfe from the Diocese of Quebec, in which he explains the 3-part process of the pilgrimage:“…we are leading a pilgrimage to the border hosted by our two dioceses in solidarity with those forced to make irregular crossings. Entitled “Meeting Jesus at the Border,” this pilgrimage will be taking place in three separate stages:
1. In the first stage (towards the end of September, beginning of October), separate regional theological study groups will be organized for those interested in participating. We will read the Canadian theologian and refugee activist, Dr. Mary Jo Leddy’s most recent book, The Other Face of God: When Strangers Call us Home—a book whose accessibility and spiritually rich content is very well suited to our context. We have envisioned these study groups to meet only once before October 14th, to be informal, self-directed, and we have developed a liturgical reflective resource to help facilitate them. You may wish to use it as the basis for facilitating a study group in your parish, NGO, CEGEP, or university context. The facilitation guide has been designed so that the group facilitators and participants will be able to engage the material with little previous study or preparation.
2. In the second stage, those who are willing and able will meet on October 14th, at 2pm in the Eastern Townships, near the border crossing at Hemingford (the exact location is to be announced). There Bishop Mary and Bishop Bruce will be presiding over the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, where we will pray for the border crossers, the civil servants and NGO workers who are welcoming them, as well as our neighbors who have responded to these crossing with hatred and fear. Dr. Mary Jo Leddy will also be joining us as the preacher.
I want to stress that this act is not a protest. We are not gathering in opposition to those who fear the migrants who are crossing our borders. Rather, we are gathering to be united to Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and thereby, to express our solidarity to “the least of these” with whom Christ identifies himself. We will meet and we will pray that God’s love may be increased in us and amongst us.
3. Finally, in the third stage (after October 14th), the regional small groups will once again meet to share and perhaps document any insights that arose during their participation, and to reflect on their experience in the light of their own local contexts, pondering “how then shall we live.”