Iraqi Refugee Sponsorship Workshop

May 2, 2012

Dr. Martin Mark, Director of Refugee Services, Archdiocese of Toronto will be the guest speaker at an information workshop on Sunday, May 6th at Assumption Parish Centre, in Stratford between 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Press release:

Iraqi Refugee Initiative Information Workshop – May 6, 2012

“Our Diocesan efforts to sponsor three Iraqi families on Prince Edward Island continue to progress”, stated Bishop Richard Grecco.  “At this time, we are looking forward to the visit of Dr. Martin Mark, Director of Refugee Services for the Archdiocese of Toronto, to help our parish communities be well prepared in receiving the sponsored families.”

On Sunday, May 6, 2012 Dr. Mark will be the guest speaker at an information workshop at Assumption Parish Centre in Stratford in the afternoon between 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.  The primary focus of his presentation will be the current status of Christian Iraqi refugees who have had to flee their homeland because of religious persecution. The context of his remarks is the issue of religious freedom, a subject that is of growing importance globally.

One of the parish communities who have agreed to sponsor an Iraqi refugee family is St. Pius X in Charlottetown.  “We have had an enthusiastic response to becoming involved in this initiative”, remarked Father Keith Kennific, pastor of St. Pius X.  “A number of members of our parish have stepped forward to volunteer to help to welcome and support one of the Iraqi families.” Another parish community, St. Paul’s in Summerside has also decided to sponsor a family.  As well the three parishes of Assumption (Stratford), St. Patrick’s (Fort Augustus), and St. Joachim’s (Vernon River) all of the Holy Family Pastoral Unit have agreed to sponsor the third Iraqi family.

“The information workshop has a main objective of building more effective parish-based refugee sponsorship committees”, commented Bishop Grecco.  “However, it also has a broader purpose: to foster enhanced appreciation for and commitment to refugee sponsorship generally.  In this way, the workshop would be of interest to people of all faiths, in keeping with their strong social justice ethic.”

The information workshop is free and open to the general public.  For further information, please contact Gerry Gabriel at  or to pre-register contact Liz MacDonald at 368-8005 or email