Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga met with a group of around 400 Christian Syrian refugees on 18 May at Our Lady of Peace Centre in Amman, Jordan. The Caritas Internationalis president was in Amman for a meeting with the global Caritas leadership.
“I bring you a message of solidarity from Pope Francis and the Church to you and to all Syrian refugees,” said Cardinal Rodriguez.
The meeting, organised by Caritas Jordan, started with a welcome from Fr. Imad Twal, director of the centre. Delegates were briefed on the Syrian crisis history by Fr. Rifa’t Bader, director of Catholic Centre for Media and Studies in Jordan.
The Syrian families had the chance to have a good discussion with Cardinal Rodriguez and the delegation. They shared their personal stories and agonies and worries of a vague future for their families and children.
Cardinal Rodriguez distributed food and non-food vouchers to the Syrian refugees families.
Cardinal Rodriguez said he was happy that Jordan was providing help to the refugees. Caritas Jordan with the support of Caritas Internationalis has helped around 350,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.
“Pope Francis chose Jordan in order to show his solidarity and full support for Jordan’s people and hospitality,” said the cardinal. Pope Francis makes a special pilgrimage to the Holy Land in May.
Pope Francis wants his visit to be seen as a call for peace in response to the conflicts that the Middle East is witnessing,” said Cardinal Rodriguez.
Wael Suleiman, Caritas Jordan General Director, said that the annual Caritas meeting was held in Jordan this year in reaction to the difficult situation the regions faces.
The event included also a handicraft session for Syrian kids and a psychosocial workshop for the youth. Caritas Jordan clinics, doctors and dentists were available as well for refugees check-ups and consultations and medicines upon the need.
A Mass headed by Cardinal Rodriguez gathered everyone to pray together for peace in Syria and the Middle East.