Our Sponsored Family Arrives

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It was September 2015, at a community meeting, that Sisters of the Holy Names, decided to sponsor a refugee family. Sisters and Associates were invited to participate in whatever way they could. Associate Pat Bozyk and Sr. Johanna Jonker became co-chairs of the committee. St. Mary’s Academy staff and students joined with us. We received “our family” through Hospitality House – Roney and Joslia and their three children: Vivianne, Rafael and Elisha. They had fled from Sudan to Egypt, their lives in danger because of their religious beliefs. While they waited several years to come to Canada they faced a life of poverty, fear and violence. While we waited, we lobbied our politicians, looked for housing, gathered furniture, prayed and planned, always with the famous Settlement Checklist at hand.

Finally, with one week’s notice, we received the news that our family would arrive on April 5th, 2018! There was such excitement as Sisters, Associates and their families, and staff and students from St. Mary’s Academy waited. The moment our family arrived at the top of the stairs, we began singing O Canada with full hearts. The new arrivals faces were radiant. We brought them to interim housing where they would stay for a few days before moving into their new home the following Monday. The weeks that followed were filled with numerous meetings to obtain documents, registering for English classes, registering the children for the Needs Centre (schooling for newcomers), setting up a bank account. It was overwhelming at first. They have now settled in and have managed to tour Winnipeg a bit and visit the Zoo.

Our SNJM family has been richly blessed by our new friends Roni, Joslia, Vivianna, Rafael, and Elisha.