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First women welcomed to Fatima House

Fatima House visit

In July, Fatima House welcomed the first two women through its doors. In an open letter Mauricio Silva, a Columban Missionary, spoke of the joy he had in welcoming them. He wrote:

“It is with joy that I would like to announce that today, Monday 25th July, we welcomed our first two guests to Fatima House.

“It has been a long journey which started in September last year when we heard Pope Francis’ call to welcome refugees in the midst of the so-called refugee crisis. Many groups, individuals and organisations got together to respond to the Pope’s call. Ten months on, as we open the doors of Fatima House, we remain committed to supporting those who seek sanctuary in Birmingham – in particular destitute women. Fatima house will provide them with much needed space to regularise their immigration status in the UK.

“The highlight of the day was to witness how the faces of the ladies lit up when they opened the doors of what will be their bedrooms in the coming months. Inside, they found beautifully prepared rooms, a set of toiletries, and all they needed to rest and recover. Also they found some letters written by young people from Clifton Diocese with messages of welcome and hope.”

Teresa Clements, project manager at Brushstrokes Community Project in Sandwell shared feedback from one of their clients who has moved into Fatima House. Teresa said the woman “felt an overwhelming gratitude for the quality of the accommodation and the welcoming atmosphere. Because of her Catholic faith, she felt a sense of homecoming from living next door to the church.”

/media/news/library/dscn2123.jpgBefore it opened, Fatima House was visited by Archbishop Bernard Longley who wanted to meet the volunteers and partners and to look around. Volunteers from the Columban Missionaries, Mauricio Silva and Nathalie Marytsch, showed him round and talked about their hopes for the women they help. During his visit, he blessed the house and praised the work that brought the project into fruition. He said, “it’s good to see a project that represents the Gospel, especially at this time of division.”

More women will move to Fatima House over the coming months where Mauricio and wife Nathalie will support them during their stays. 

Mauricio said, “the whole journey has been tiring but meaningful, and we believe it will continue to be so. Above all, we are grateful to God, who has opened the hearts of so many who have made sacrifices – big and small – for the project to take off.

“We pray that gentle Mary of Fatima may protect this house and the ladies who come to seek refuge here, as well as those who support refugees and asylum seekers in the city.”

Fatima House is a collaborative project between Father Hudson's Care, the Archdiocese of Birmingham, the Columban Missionaries, Caritas Archdiocese of Birmingham and a local parish. The project supports destitute female asylum seekers for up to six months. Volunteers will help meet their basic needs, while referring agencies support them with their asylum applications and with moving their lives forward.

Fatima House is accepting donations of toiletries, non-perishable food and other household items, or financial gifts so they can buy essential items for the women. If you would like to help, please e-mail fatimahouse@fatherhudsons.org.uk or call 01675 434000. You can also make a donation online by visiting Father Hudson’s JustGiving page.

Thank you.

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