Over the years we have established a programme for a Network Group meeting at The Edmund Rice Office in Woodeaves, Hale Barns, Manchester Supporters come from Manchester, Stoke and Liverpool.
In 2008 the initial forum revealed an appetite for three elements in the spirit of Edmund Rice’s example and charism
Concern for refugees and asylum seekers emerged as a possible area of involvement.
The desire is to have a group wherever there is an Edmund Rice School or Brothers’ community, meeting bi-monthly and including, where possible, Brothers and ex-Brothers, school staff andgovernors, interested parents, friends of Brothers and the school.
The Manchester group is providing particular support for Revive, a project of the Spiritans (Holy Ghost Fathers), working with asylum seekers and refugees in Salford. Their focus is on professional social worker casework, offeringpsychological and home-based support to asylum seekers and refugees referred by other agencies.
Stoke have a basic core of committed people, although not meeting regularly as a group are involved in many activities promoted by the wider Network and they regularly involve themselves in the Manchester group activities.
Below is a taste of one of these activities
A group of 17 members affiliated to the stoke network hub learned a great deal about other religions in March during a day at a Mosque and Gurdwara. The first part at the day was spent learning about the deep beauty of Islam and the shared values that it holds with Christianity. The second visit was to a Gurdwara, and for many of the group this was their first exposure to Sikhism. Not only was the faith sharing very deep but the welcome that we were afforded in both places showed genuine hospitality.
I know that I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that I am genuinely inspired to learn more about other traditions, the value of inter-faith dialogue, and the innate sense of respect that should be the central tenant of our relationships with all that we meet. The sharing that took place was inspiring on all levels, and as a whole, much was learned about the God-centred beauty of the both the Islamic and Sikh traditions.
Reported by Caroline Cirino
St. Joseph’s College, Stoke
O God, we thank you for the life of Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.