President of Ireland says this figure highlights “the growing scale of the challenge we face in helping refugees, asylum seekers and those internally displaced”.
Since it was founded by the Spiritan congregation in 1999, SPIRASI has provided rehabilitative supports to over 4,500 survivors of torture from over 100 different countries.
“On this special day let us renew our commitment to equality, social justice and care for all our vulnerable people, so many of whom continue to struggle for the very necessities of life.”
“All of you and all of the other women who cannot be with us today were failed by these institutions, the experience of which you share, and the religious orders that ran them,” the President said.
“Now more than ever, the compassion, empathy and generosity of spirit, so characteristic of our people in our best moments, are displayed by our awardees here today” President Michael D Higgins
Christians had a duty to accept refugees with compassion and acceptance, he said, citing Pope Francis, who had urged Catholics to accept refugees in their countries.
Irish missionary, Sr Mary Sweeney, established St Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired in Sierra Leone and has given education, skills training and life opportunities to children with a disability in a developing country.
When we light the Christmas tree in Áras an Uachtaráin, we remember the bereaved who are finding this Christmas difficult; we remember those on the edge, the marginalised in our society, our homeless people, and those who are worried about keeping a roof over their families’ heads.