BEIRUT - Church aid workers scrambled to find housing for hundreds of Syrian refugees who have fled to neighboring Lebanon because of ongoing violence between Syrian forces and armed rebels.

About 200 families -- more than 1,000 people overall -- made their way to the border town of Qaa in the Bekaa Valley in northern Lebanon March 5 and were struggling in the region's near-freezing temperatures.

Father Simon Faddoul, president of Caritas Lebanon, told Catholic News Service March 6 that "women and children and the elderly are coming out in the cold, with nothing but the clothes on their backs, to seek safety."

Published in International

The Iraqi family sponsored by Cardinal Thomas Collins is in the final stretch of its long road to refuge. The Iraqi Christian refugees should be in Canada before the end of April thanks to an offer of sponsorship by Collins.

Members of the archdiocese of Toronto administrative staff have raised the money, drawn up a 15-page settlement plan and gathered together a hope chest to make sure the family will find a warm welcome in Toronto.

The office workers have come together to take full responsibility for the refugees, said Martin Mark, executive director of the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office for Refugees.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA