Dying to Live

JRS Speakers Tour: A New Book with Stories of Refugees on the Road to Freedom

In his message on World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis remarked that “the signs of meanness we see around us heighten our fear of ‘the other,’ the unknown, the marginalized, the foreigner.” A new book co-published by Jesuit Refugee Service “Dying to Live: Stories on the Road to Freedom,” “the other” becomes known. “Dying to Live” tells the stories of people who have been forced to flee their homes in their own words. Fr. Jim Martin, S.J., renowned author and writer says that it is “An essential book for understanding one of the most pressing challenges of our time.”

Bringing light to the refugee experience is critical to dispelling fear and creating a culture of welcome for all refugees and migrants. Save the Date for JRS/USA’s 2020 Speakers tour, featuring the author of “Dying to Live,” Danielle Vella. Come hear selections read by the author, ask your questions about the refugee experience, and come to encounter the stories of the forcibly displaced.

Tour Dates

February 16, 2020, 12PM – St. Ignatius Church, Baltimore, MD

February 18, 2020, 7PM – St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO

February 19, 2020, 4PM – Regis University, Denver, CO

February 25, 2020, 7 PM – Creighton University, Omaha, NE

February 27, 2020, 7PM – Seattle University, Center for Jesuit Education, Seattle, WA

March 1, 2020, 4PM – Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Washington, DC

March 2, 2020 – Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Washington, DC

More dates and information to come

About the Author

With almost 20 years of service to Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Danielle brings an incredible depth of knowledge and experience serving forcibly displaced people. She’s worked throughout the world to help refugees, Danielle Vella now serves as the Director of Reconciliation & Social Cohesion for JRS, where she leads the organizations efforts to build bridges and creating spaces of hospitality and welcome for refugees and host communities, and JRS teams around the world. A journalist, she has also served as publication coordinator for JRS, editor and writer for the African Jesuit AIDS Network, and Canadian Jesuits International, a reporter for Vatican Radio, and a contributor to The Tablet, Times of Malta, and Asia News. She is based in Malta, and travels internationally for JRS.

Dying to Live: Stories from Refugees on the Road to Freedom

Refugees feel they have no choice but to leave their countries, their decision imposed by circumstance. “Dying to Live” shares the personal stories of refugees from Morocco, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, South Sudan and Mali now living in Italy, France, Serbia, Spain, Ethiopia, Uganda, Lebanon and the United States. “Dying to Live” tells the stories of refugees in different parts of the world in their own words. Some fled forced conscription, others fled when war exploded on their doorstep, still others were victims of ISIS or the Taliban. Then there are those who became refugees because they stood by what they believed to be the right thing to do – at any cost. They face many obstacles on their journey, including an often unwelcoming new home were they hope to seek safety. Though many of the refugees’ journeys are harrowing through sea, mountains, or deserts, the book reveals the extraordinary courage, compassion, and hope of the refugees and those who help them along the way.