The POWIR Ministry Program

About the POWIR Ministry Program

The St. John-St. Paul Collaborative Service Commission, in partnership with dedicated parishioners and staff, has established a POWIR program to assist Catholic Charities Boston with immigrant and refugee resettlement.  POWIR (“Parishes Organized to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees”) is a program of the UCCSB that engages local churches to recruit and utilize volunteers to mentor and provide other needed support to newly-arrived refugees. The program places a special focus on building parish partnerships in which a parish sponsors a refugee family for a designated period of time.  POWIR programs have helped thousands of refugee clients find places to live, make friends, learn English, find work, receive pro bono legal counsel and medical services, and achieve social integration.

Updates from the SJSP POWIR Program

They’re Here! Some Good News in a Difficult Time…

It is with hearts brimming over with joy we announce the truly miraculous arrival of our new POWIR family, Emile and Rosine Rwamuhinda and their children, in Boston! The family landed at Logan Airport today at 2:20pm. During these unimaginably difficult days and circumstances, Catholic Charities and our POWIR Team remained uncertain whether they would actually be able to come until the very last moment. As we explained in last week's bulletin, Emile and Rosine and their children fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007, and they’ve been living in a refugee camp ever since. We were notified during ...
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Welcome Emile and Rosine and Family, Arriving in Boston on March 18!

As many in the collaborative heard during last week's Masses, we have exciting news to share regarding our partnership with Catholic Charities to assist in the resettlement efforts of Immigrant and Refugees into the Boston area. On March 18, 2020 our SJSP POWIR Group will be welcoming Emile and Rosine, and their five children, from a refugee camp in Rwanda. The family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007. They’ve been living in a refugee camp ever since and their two youngest children were born there. As many of you know we’ve been praying for the opportunity to assist a ...
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POWIR Update: A Heartfelt Thank You!

News from the SJSP POWIR team! It is with great joy that we share with you that both our Honduran and Congolese refugee families are employed and financially self-sufficient. It was the families’ hard work along with the unbelievable efforts of Catholic Charities, our SJSP partnership and the abundant generosity of individual parishioners that this was achieved. The refugee families shared Thanksgiving and Christmas welcomed by warm members of our faith community. They were showered with Christmas gifts, including a brand new smart TV that is helping to expand their language acquisition. The POWIR team wishes to extend a heartfelt thank ...
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POWIR Update: Getting Settled

Our SJSP POWIR volunteers have been busy getting Maria, Marcos, Chantal, Emmanuel and Jeremie settled in their new home in Dorchester. They live in a lovely apartment near Pope John Paul II Park, with an easy walk to grocery stores, St. Mark's Church, Fields Corner T,  laundry and much more. Through the generosity of many of our parishioners we've been able to begin assisting them with a rental subsidy. Your continued online donations to help the family are of vital importance. This week our volunteers are focused on bringing the families to their first medical evaluations and getting a sense ...
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POWIR Update: How You Can Help Our Families!

As many parishioners have heard, our Collaborative POWIR program, in partnership with Catholic Charities, has begun supporting two refugee families who have been resettled in Dorchester. Chantal and her two boys, Jeremie and Emmanuel, are from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Maria and Marcos from Honduras. Generous parishioners are already reaching out to make material and financial contributions for the family. Please prayerfully consider making your own donation to the efforts! Please visit our POWIR page to see how you can help. The group is also looking for a Spanish-speaking volunteer willing to travel to meet with Maria and ...
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POWIR Update: An Exciting Development!

An exciting development occurred this week in POWIR news! The SJSP POWIR Group has partnered with St. Ignatius Parish to support the resettlement of two families in the Boston area who arrived on September 17 from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Honduras. The two families are living together in an apartment in Boston which St. Ignatius Parish secured and has begun to furnish. We need your help to facilitate a smooth integration into their new home. Please consider prayerfully supporting these families with your time and treasure. Please visit our SignUp Genius page for a list of the families' ...
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POWIR Update: “Who is a Refugee?”

As many parishioners are now aware, we are in the formative stages of a partnership with Catholic Charities to welcome a Refugee family this year. A group of over forty parishioners have committed to helping the effort in the areas of housing, pre-arrival and post-arrival needs. As we prepare for this family to arrive, our passionate volunteers have created this communication space to answer any questions that may surface throughout the process. Stay tuned here for all the exciting developments! We trust in God's timing and purpose as we wait in anticipation of a family who could arrive from any ...
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POWIR Update: Federal Refugee Resettlement Cap

As we continue with our partnership with Catholic Charities we are making ongoing efforts to keep the Collaborative up-to-date on the process. There has been much discussion regarding the federal cap of refugee arrivals at 18,000 individuals for the fiscal year 2020. This number is set at a historic low. Funding for programs similar to that of Catholic Charities Immigrant and Refugee Services depend on the existence of the communities they serve. Our POWIR group asks for your continued prayers for refugees around the world and for the individual family our Collaborative, with God's grace, will eventually support in their process ...
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POWIR Program Training: Wednesday, September 25

Our Collaborative, in partnership with Catholic Charities' Refugee and Immigration Services, will be welcoming a refugee family in the coming year.  If you are interested in volunteering, please come to this training session by the expert team at Catholic Charities on Wednesday, September 25 at 6:00pm in St. John’s Powers Hall. Email kelly.meraw@sjspwellesley.org for more information or if you would like to help ...
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