Migration..Thoughts for Saint Patrick’s Day.

DSC02221 MIGRATION-

 

Saint Patrick and a Student-

As a third level chaplain today one is very aware of the increasing diversity in the student population. Among these there are numerous examples of immigrants who have left their home countries and have seized the opportunity for education and advancement. They are very aware of the fact that this opportunity would never have been possible in their former homelands. The story of one particular student who spoke to me about his experience at the hands of traffickers and crossing the Mediterranean in an open boat were made bearable by the touching way he talked about his life, his journey, his love for his homeland, his people, and his family.

I told him about Saint Patrick and how he was trafficked and how he escaped back to his home country on a boat not unlike those who cross the Mediterranean today. He, like countless others today, was in search of a reasonable life that is free from torture and oppression. The student was enthralled by Saint Patrick or at least he was enthralled with the version of Saint Patrick we chatted about. He expressed gratitude for the fact that he can call Ireland home and was deeply appreciative of the hope that Ireland offers him. I caught something of the spirit of Patrick in him when he expressed a desire to give back to this country that has given him so much. We have cloaked Saint Patrick in so much tinsel that we forget the power and dimensions of his story. Isn’t it strange that the Irish Church began with a migrant and not ‘one of our own’; maybe we find this fact hard to digest….to download the complete article please  go to… http://arrow.dit.ie/libart/15/

 

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