I want to share with you extracts from a letter received from Archbishop Bashar Warda, C.Ss.R. of Erbil, Iraq;? he was writing to all his fellow Redemptorists.

Dear Confreres? in Christ,

As you might know from the news media the city of Mosul in the North of Iraq, has been captured by fanatic militia, which persecuted the Christians with the result that the Christian communities in Mosul and the neighbouring villages have been dispersed.? Most of them have sought refuge in our diocese, and more than a thousand families from the Mosul area are now here in Ankawa, asking for refuge and shelter.? We are welcoming our brothers and sisters as best we can.? Many of our families are doubling up with relatives who have fled the violence.? Additional displaced people are in camps. Our struggle to meet the immediate needs of these most recent members of our refugee communities is going to be protracted.

I am approaching you, my brothers in the Congregation, with a request for generous cash donations which will help us ease the suffering.? Your gifts will allow us to provide food, housing supplies, things needed to allow more basic hygiene.

Those of us who choose to remain in Iraq do so because we love our homeland and believe that there is a future for us.? Stability is essential to our survival, as is education and employment.? All of us are striving to do our part to achieve a lasting peace and to live in a just pluralistic society.? Your charity will play a key role in allowing us to start again.

Thanks for hearing my personal appeal,

In Christ the Redeemer,? Bashar M. Warda, CSs.R., Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil.

As announced last week, we will have a special collection for Archbishop Warda this weekend;? I know that you will be openhearted in your giving as you are in your praying for this critical situation.? Many thanks.

Fr Sean Wales, C.Ss.R.

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