Plight of refugees and asylum seekers takes centre stage at Requiem
The musical talent of Welsh composer Karl Jenkins took on a new theme in memory of refugees and asylum seekers who have lost their lives in the search for freedom as part of a performance at St Mary’s Cathedral last Sunday. PHOTO: Jamie O’Brien
By Jamie O'Brien
The musical talent of Welsh composer Karl Jenkins took on a new theme in memory of refugees and asylum seekers who have lost their lives in the search for freedom as part of a concert at St Mary’s Cathedral last Sunday, 11 October.
Conducted by local musician Jangoo Chapkhana, the choir and orchestra gave a stellar performance made all the more powerful by the mindset of the 650-strong audience.
Key organiser Anne Stephens said she was extremely pleased with the turn-out, and hopes the occasion gave those who attended the opportunity to reflect on the call to action – including that of Archbishop Timothy Costelloe and Pope Francis.
The aim of the concert was to raise funds for locally based activities of MercyCare and The Humanitarian Group, a legal service that provides assistance to asylum seekers who are having their protection claims processed in Western Australia.
Mrs Stephens went on to explain that development of the concert came about, in large part, as a natural response to her work as a school psychologist working with refugees and asylum seekers, having been deeply moved by their situations.
“It was also a consciousness–raising event to highlight the need to respond with compassion to the needs of those who seek asylum,” Mrs Stephens said.
“I see organising this concert as a response to the call of Christ through the Gospel as well as my response to the call of Pope Francis for compassion to the asylum seekers of the world,” she said.
Mrs Stephens went on to say that, as a major provider of services to asylum seekers,
MercyCare also has a program of community education to raise awareness around the situation of people seeking asylum in Australia.
“The world is going through a particularly turbulent period with huge numbers of displaced people, many of whom do not have access to refugee camps, and unfortunately asylum seekers have been portrayed in Australia as people attempting to enter Australia illegally, whereas it is, in fact, legal to seek asylum.
“I am resolved to be part of the movement to redress this situation and to bring about a more just response.”
Read the statement from Archbishop Costelloe regarding refugees and asylum seekers by Clicking Here.
Read the Homily from Pope Francis by Clicking Here.