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Accompaniment is a vital aspect of JRS' work
February 18, 2011

Accompaniment is a vital aspect of JRS' work
Fr. Holdcroft points out the need for for, and success of, JRS pastoral workers whose primary duty s to accompany refugees, to listen to the stories, their needs and their wants.
(Washington, D.C.) February 18, 2011 — Fr. David Holdcroft, S.J., the Regional Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Southern Africa, discusses the necessity of accompaniment in JRS' work with refugees. 

Accompaniment is an essential element of the mission and methodology of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. To accompany means to be a companion. We are companions of Jesus, so we wish to be companions of those with whom he preferred to be associated, the poor and the outcast.

Fr. Holdcroft points out the need for for, and success of, JRS pastoral workers whose primary duty s to accompany refugees, to listen to the stories, their needs and their wants. As Fr. Holdcroft says, the refugees themselves say "we can only rely on God. God is the only one who can help us." Through accompaniment, JRS is able to help refugees celebrate "the God they know and love."





To accompany is a practical and effective action. Not infrequently it is precisely the way in which protection is given. It is a way to 'internationalize' a situation. The presence of an international team can sometimes prevent an attack on refugees. Moreover, presence can be a sign. That a free person chooses willingly and faithfully to accompany those who are not free, who had no choice about being there, is itself a sign, a way of eliciting hope.

Our accompaniment affirms that God is present in human history, even in its most tragic episodes. We experience this presence. God does not abandon us. 

As pastoral workers, we focus on this vision, and are not side-tracked by political maneuverings and ethnic divisions, whether they are among the refugees or among the agencies and governments who decide their fate.

Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs
communications@jrsusa.org
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