Vallombrosa 300x100 12.2017

Parishes meet refugee family at St. Denis Church picnic

26 8.17.17_st.denis.refugee.fam PAGEA young Afghan refugee father and his baby boy are pictured July 23 at a reception at St. Denis Church in Menlo Park. St. Denis raised funds to support the family’s resettlement through Catholic Charities of the East Bay and St. Leo the Great Parish in Oakland. (Courtesy Michele Jurich/Oakland Voice)

August 17, 2017

The parishioners of St. Denis Parish, who raised $28,000 over Lent to help Catholic Charities of the East Bay and St. Leo the Great Parish in Oakland resettle a young Afghan refugee couple and their baby boy, met the family for the first time on July 23 at a picnic hosted by the parish.

“This is our family,” said Pat Mach, outreach committee chair at the Menlo Park parish, introducing the family to the cheers of parishioners huddling around the baby’s stroller. The family asked that their names and faces not appear in print.

The family lives in a small apartment in the South Bay. The father, who worked as a driver for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, drives for Lyft as he awaits certification for security work. “I’m lucky to be here,” the 30-year-old father said, holding his 14-month-old son on his lap. “That’s why I’m here – because of him.”

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