Messages for Migrants and Refugees

Date: 02 Feb 2017

Congregation Leader Br Martin Kenneally has written a letter to each of Cork's TDs, outlining some “messages of hope and welcome” written to refugees arriving in Ireland. These were collected at the Christmas Eve Mass in Mount St Joseph, attended by people connected with the Presentation Brothers' network of schools, projects and communities across Cork City. The congregation on the night included many young people.

Br Martin shared only a selection of the many messages written; however, they do reflect a spirit of welcome, respect and hospitality for refugees on the part of the Irish people in general and particularly on the part of faith communities. These messages offer hope and encouragement at a time when this might not be so internationally.

Br Martin notes the work of Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio, who made rough crosses from the wreckage of a boat carrying refugees that sank off the island of Lampedusa. The crosses were offered to survivors as a symbol of their rescue and as a sign of hope. After his visit to Lampedusa, Pope Francis said: “We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees… are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved”.

Br Martin's letter also affirms the men and women of the Irish Naval Service who have saved the lives of so many refugees in the Mediterranean. A copy of the messages can be seen below:

Messages of hope and welcome for refugees:

  1. Céad Míle Fáilte!  One hundred thousand welcomes to our beautiful country!
  2. Welcome to your new home!
  3. That you may find safety, peace, hope and a friendly welcome as you make your new home in Ireland.  We welcome you and welcome the gift that your presence will bring to our country.
  4. Céad Míle Fáilte!  You are welcome to Ireland.  We have a collective memory here of having to leave our homes and make a fresh start in a new place.  We wish you a new start and a fresh beginning.  You will make our country a better place.
  5. Fáilte!  In my name you are welcome to our country.
  6. Welcome to this green and misty isle.  Céad Míle Fáilte!  I hope you will get a good welcome here.
  7. There is hardly a family in Ireland that does not have relations in other countries.  Surely we should extend a céad míle fáilte to all those seeking sanctuary in our country.
  8. I welcome you to our country which is now your country too!  May it prove to be a country of welcome, tolerance and understanding.  I hope it will be a place of happiness for you and your family and you can lead contented and full lives.  I am confident that, given the chance, this country will greatly benefit from your gifts and talents.
  9. Welcome to Ireland where I hope you will find peace and happiness for you and your family.  I also hope you will find a safe home here and, of course, enough food and shelter for you.
  10. Welcome to Ireland!  I have spent time in Germany with other refugees from Syria and look forward to embracing your culture, language and joy. Salam.
  11. From Cork our naval service personnel have sailed to give safe passage to thousands of refugees.  Let’s complete the journey and welcome refugees to Cork and give them a home and a new beginning in Ireland.
  12. I’m happy that you made it this far.  Sadly, so many were not so fortunate.  Now that you’re here we want you to feel at home – you are now one of us.  We promise to do what we can to ensure that this is the beginning of a new life for you.  Welcome!
  13. Welcome home!  We, Irish, were also refugees around the world during our famine.
  14. My sincerest and warmest welcome to Ireland.  Your bravery and courage is incredible, leaving your home for the unknown must be so difficult.  I sincerely hope you find happiness and hope here.
  15. That we, the Irish people, who once were driven from our homes, may have mercy now on all refugees.  We are all brothers and sisters in God’s eyes.
  16. I want to welcome you.  May you be treated with kindness and respect and be happy here.  May our country be a home from home for you.
  17. A Céad Míle Fáilte to you to our country.  I hope you blend in to our culture.  Welcome to our community.
  18. I truly hope that you all feel so welcome in this little island of Ireland.  Kindness, peacefulness and hope are central parts of our culture and I hope you experience this each and every day whilst you are living here.
  19. That you, my migrant brothers and sisters, may feel loved and cared for in our community.
  20. Welcome to Ireland!  I hope you find peace here.  Good luck for the future.  Your story has not gone unheard.
  21. I wish you peace and happiness in this season and for the future.  I hope you and your family find a welcome and tolerance in Ireland.
  22. Welcome to your new home in Ireland and I hope 2017 will be a good year for you and your family.
  23. Welcome to Ireland! We hope you like Ireland and are very happy here.
  24. Happy Christmas and a happy New Year.  Keep the light shining!