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Pentecost Prayer, Study and Action on behalf of Iraqi Refugees

The North American Dominican Coordinating Committee on Iraq invites member of the Order and friends to use the Solemnity of Pentecost as a time of contemplation and action on behalf of our  family in Iraq, especially those who are among the refugees and internally displaced peoples.

Scripture:     As the body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the
                      body, though many are one body, so also Christ. (1 Cor. 12:12)

Reflection: We are the Body of Christ. There is no such thing as an individual Christian; apart from the Body we cannot exist. When part of the body hurts, it all hurts. None of us can be whole unless all are whole. What effect does the plight of the refugees have on this Body?


Prayer:          We pray this prayer through the eyes of refugees:

            Prayer of Protection (by Margaret McNulty/CAFOD - adapted)

Terror is at our heels.
Anxiety, uncertainty, vulnerability
Lie ahead.
We have fled to freedom.
And yet…
Our hearts are aching.

Response: Holy Spirit, cover us with your wings.

Far from home.
Longing for the familiar.
A touch, a smile, a hug, a kind word.
Yearning to return.
And yet…
We must go forwards.

Response:  Holy Spirit, cover us with your wings.

Memories and dreams
Grief and hope
Death and new life
What might have been
What could be.
And yet…
Your constant love.

Response:  Holy Spirit, cover us with your wings.

            (source:  www.cafod.org.uk )


During March 2007, the North American Dominican Coordinating Committee on Iraq (ICC) issued an updated statement on the current situation for the Iraqi people as did our Dominican presence at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.  Also, the US Department of State has issued a statement regarding Iraqi refugees and visa availability.

These two quotes are taken from the Dominican documents:

            From ICC document:

We urge the Administration and Congress to recognize that the Iraqi refugee situation, precipitated by the US invasion, has added to the destabilization of the entire region.  Approximately 2 million Iraqis have fled their country since the inception of war in 2003.  Neighboring countries such as Syria, Jordan and Turkey bear the burden of receiving newly displaced Iraqi citizens. It is estimated that inside Iraq, there are 1.8 million internally displaced people (IDPs). We believe that the US government has a moral responsibility to acknowledge this crisis and create responsible immigration policies that offer opportunities for shelter and safety to innocent Iraqi citizens. 

Read the North American Dominican Coordinating Committee Statement here.

Recommendations in the Geneva document includes: 

-western countries open their doors to the Iraqis as they seek safety and security for their families including the United States, Great Britain and the Allied Nations who are currently in Iraq.

(Read the whole document at: http://www.domlife.org/2007Stories/Iraq_Refugees_UNstatement.pdf )

From the US Department of State - May 3, 2007:
UNHCR has made the commitment to the U.S. to refer 7,000 Iraqis in Jordan , Syria , Egypt , Turkey and Lebanon to the U.S. Refugee Admission Program for consideration for resettlement by September, 2007. This is the number that is expected to be received in the first tranche of referrals. However, the U.S. expects to receive additional referrals after the first 7,000 have been submitted, and 7,000 is not a limit on the number of Iraqis the U.S. will consider for the USRAP. We are also exploring other avenues of access to the USRAP in addition to UNHCR referrals.
Source ( www.state.gov/g/prm )



            +          Wear “I have Family in Iraq” button during Pentecost.

+          Engage others in conversations about the situation for Iraqi refugees and the Christians living in Iraq.

+          Write or Call your congresspersons regarding the United States commitment to admit Iraqi refugees and the current situation for the Christian minority in Iraq.       

Prepared by:  Roberta Popara, O.P. (Sinsinawa)
                         Rene Weeks, O.P. (Great Bend)

Download a Word version of this prayer here.

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