“Whatever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me” (Matt 25:31–46). These words are exactly what Fr Gerard Bernier and the members of the Carapichaima RC Parish Migrant Ministry have been doing for the past four months at the parish.
Led and supported by Fr Gerard and volunteer parishioners, this Ministry commenced in September 2019 and has been a source of light, strength and hope to the many brothers and sisters who have found a home in our country and parish. There are approximately 37 persons enrolled with the programme. This number comprises 13 adults, seven children under the age of eight and about 17 children between the ages of eight to 15. Due to their financial constraints, they do not all attend classes daily.
The classes offered to them comprise Conversational English accompanied with Grammar for the adults. The older children are taught English and Mathematics. The smaller children are involved in colouring, art and craft, and other simple skills.
The Parish Ministry for Migrants and Refugees (PMMR) also assists in areas of immediate concerns, medical emergencies, and issues with landlords or employers. They even assisted in providing one of the children with a pair of glasses.
This Ministry depends heavily on volunteers, donations of cash or kind, food, snacks, materials for the classes and even people to volunteer their time and talent at least once a week.
The classes are held from Tuesday to Friday 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each day they are served a snack and lunch, hence the Ministry is always seeking the kind donations of meals, snacks, drinks and even cash to assist in meeting the daily requirements of these migrants.
An integral part of this new community is the celebration of Holy Mass in Spanish every Sunday at 4 p.m. by various priests. This highlights that the community is now part of our parish and not just migrants; they belong and are part of the Our Lady of Mt Carmel family.
“Que Dios toque nuestros Corazon para continuar ayudano a nuestros hermanos y hermanas espanol.” Amen.
May God touch our hearts to continue to assist our Spanish brothers and sisters, Amen.
—Story and photos by