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One Woman's Resettlement Story, to view CLICK HERE

 

“The Kingdom of God is at hand.”

How I can help create God’s Kingdom.

As people of faith, we know Christ’s commandment to welcome the stranger, the lost, the orphan.  By working with people who have just recently arrived in Minnesota, we have the opportunity to put our faith into action.

Catholic Charities offers Migration and Refugee Services that focus on meeting the need of resettling people from other countries in the U.S. who arrive in the U.S. through the State Department. These people have lived in refugee camps after being forced to flee their homes because of religious persecution, war, ethnicity, or political beliefs.  Refugees often arrive in this country with little or nothing except the clothes on their back.  They need food, clothing, shelter, jobs, English lessons and friendship.

In order to provide these services, Catholic Charities' mission is supported and delivered with the help of local parishes and other non-profit organizations. Within the Twin Cities there are currently six parishes that have joined in a coordinated effort to meet some of the local refugee resettlement needs. These six parishes rotate as a resettlement need arises. Based on current activity, a parish may be called on three or four times a year to assist a new refugee or refugee family in resettlement in the Twin Cities. Parishes participate in one or more areas of assistance, based on their current capacity and mission:

   * Hospitality – Initial grocery and household goods shopping (funded by Catholic Charities), arranging the delivery of furnishings and household goods to the resettlement apartment, and along with the Catholic Charities resettlement coordinator, welcoming the family to our country.

   * Transportation – Assist the resettled family by researching transportation options (MetroTransit, etc.) for various activities and educating them on using these options.

   * Job Development – Assist refugee adults with job acquisition skills such as interviewing, cultural norms such as handshakes and eye contact, finding clothes for interviewing and helping the family with job searches and networking.

   * Financial Literacy – Educating the family on banking, financial planning and setting up an initial bank account. Teach them how to use their bank account, access ATMs write checks and pay bills.

   * Social Adjustment – Help the family feel welcome and comfortable in Minnesota by taking them to social events like the State Fair or one of the zoos.

The Catholic Community of St. Thomas Becket has joined the six other Twin Cities parishes that help provide this assistance. Our initial mission is to become a part of the team of current parishes on a rotational basis. There are currently seven volunteers from the parish.  Given the limited number of volunteers, our role in serving this mission is often limited. Our support of these refugee resettlement efforts is focused on the hospitality segment of the ministry.

As with any ministry the ability to serve is dictated by the number of volunteers, so we always welcome more.

If you are interested in or have questions about the ministry, please contact Patrick Engesser - e-mail – pjzathome@aol.com or call – 651-686-2852 (home); 651-895-0079 (mobile).

We encourage you to take time in prayer and discussion to consider volunteering…

God bless,

The St. Thomas Becket Refugee Resettlement Ministry

If you wish to learn more CLICK HERE.