Liverpool Catenians lend support to asylum seekers

'Biblical revelation urges us to welcome the stranger'

Asylum seekers in Liverpool Archdiocese are benefiting from the efforts of Liverpool’s Catenians. Bob Wheelhouse, president of the Liverpool province of the Catenians, chose asylum-seeker projects in the Merseyside and Runcorn areas as his presidential charity, taking inspiration from the message of Pope Francis that ‘Biblical revelation urges us to welcome the stranger’.

Wheelhouse, together with the brothers of his circle and their fellow Catenians across province 4, have been able to assist several projects. After the circle’s annual Mass for vocations at St Anne’s church in Overbury Street on 9 February, he presented Father Peter Morgan with a cheque for Asylum Link Merseyside, which operates from that church. Asylum Link is a drop-in centre for all asylum-seekers and refugees and it provides friendship, help and advice to people fleeing persecution in their own countries.

There have also been donations made in Wheelhouse’s home parish of St Maximilian Kolbe in Runcorn, to assist an Egyptian asylum-seeker and a family from El Salvador. In the case of the former, his initial application was turned down and is now on appeal, while the Salvadoran family’s initially successful application has been appealed by the Home Office. ‘We can only imagine how upsetting this to them, but we will continue to support them and keep them in our prayers,’ said Wheelhouse.

Photograph: Bob Wheelhouse presenting a cheque to Fr Peter Morgan at St Anne’s Church, Overbury Street