Sunday, 14th July 2024

Supporting the Christians of Iraq

Posted on 20. Apr, 2015 in Carousel

Fr Ragheed Ganni, as depicted in mosaic in the Irish College Chapel. Fr Ragheed was a student of the Irish College until 2003 when he returned to his native Iraq to begin his ministry as a priest. He was martyred for his faith in 2007 along with three sub-deacons in Mosul outside the Holy Spirit Chaldean Church.

For Lent 2015, the Irish College seminarians decided to dedicate the annual Lenten appeal to the persecuted Christians of Iraq. Bonds of friendship unite the College community with the postgraduate priests who have lived at the Irish College in recent years and through them, the community has an acute awareness of the suffering of the Iraqi Christians.

The total raised was €4,150. The proceeds of the collection were presented to former Irish College postgraduate student, Fr Efrem Luay Dinkha for distribution to those in need of assistance at this time. The Lenten campaign had been organised by the seminary charity officer and the seminarians of the College, but, as the seminarians had already departed for Summer holidays at the time of Fr Efrem’s visit at the end of June, the formation staff members presented the cheque to him. A big thank you to all who contributed to the collection during Lent.

Pictured at the presentation were (left to right): Fr Tom Norris (Spiritual Director), Fr George Hayes (Vice Rector), Fr Efrem Luay Dinkha, Mons. Ciarán O’Carroll (Rector), Fr Hugh Clifford (Director of Formation).

Above all, please remember the Christians and other people of Iraq in your prayers, that they shall remain strong and that they shall be delivered from harm.

The news from Iraq leaves us incredulous and alarmed: thousands of people, many Christians among them, are being driven from their homes in a brutal way; children are dying of thirst and hunger while fleeing; women abducted; people massacred; every type of violence; destruction everywhere; destruction of houses, of religious, historic and cultural heritage. Yet all of this grievously offends God and grievously offends humanity. Hatred is not borne in the name of God! War is not waged in the name of God! All of us, thinking about this situation, about these people, let us be silent now and pray.

I thank those who, with courage, are taking aid to these brothers and sisters, and I hope that an effective political solution, both at the international and local levels, can put an end to these crimes and restore law.

– Pope Francis, speaking before the Angelus, 10th August 2014