The Basilica of Saint Mary is proud to partner with Lutheran Social Services to co-sponsor refugee families who are starting new lives in Minnesota after living in refugee camps throughout the world. Want to get involved in this ministry? VIsit our Refugee/Immigration Ministry page for more information, or donate to help support this effort.
Read about the Refugee/Immigration Ministry's latest activities and reflections on the Just Living blog.
First family: From Somalia to Kenya to Minnesota
In February 2016, the Basilica welcomed a family of six: two parents and four young people. This family was originally from Somalia, but spent the last 22 years in a refugee camp in Kenya. Learn about the conditions in this camp.
A Basilica mentor team helped them with tasks as diverse as learning how to shop for food, getting to appointments and school and finding out how to get around their new neighborhood – every experience was new after two decades in a refugee camp.
In June, the family decided to move to southern Minnesota to be closer to relatives, but the mentor team has kept in touch.
Second family: Starting school, learning English
In late July 2016, a family of two parents and three small children arrived in Minnesota. This family was originally from Iraq but was living as refugees in Turkey.
This family’s mentor team reports the family members are delightful, grateful to be here, and anxious to start their new lives. The children started school in September, and the adults have been taking ESL classes and looking for work. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue their new adventure!
Third family: Eagerly awaited
A third mentor team is in training, preparing to meet the third family the Basilica will co-sponsor. We hope to begin our relationship with this family this year.