October 30, 2015
On Tuesday, October 27, the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall hosted a prayer service to remember the needs of Syrian refugees. At the request of Bishop Marcel Damphousse, a unique multi-faith service was organized. This was the first time in the Diocese that such a multi-faith service has taken place.
The faith traditions that were represented were Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Baha’i. The participants heard moving prayers and reflections from representatives of the faith traditions. As well as prayers, two testimonials about the refugee experience were recounted. Mr. Hua Ha spoke about his experience leaving Vietnam as one of the “Boat People” in the 1980s. Father Emmanuel Ngiruwonsanga told the crowd about escaping Rwanda in the midst of the genocide in 1994.
During a time of fellowship, following the service, participants spoke to each other about the powerful reflections and testimonies and commented on the deep sense of gratitude many felt about living in Canada, and in particular in Eastern Ontario.
In addition to organizing the multi-faith service, the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall has also overseen a special collection ear-marked to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. To date, $47,000 has been collected.