“Does your church know you are here?” Before we introduced each other, this was the first question I got from a Latina activist. I was participating of a demonstration for immigration reform in Seattle. A few minutes after I arrived, I met this mother of two who was olding one of the signs and started … Continue reading
On May 21, 2013 two organizations sponsored by the US Bishops conference, Justice for Immigrants and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, held an advocacy day on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The US Bishops have been consistently in support of immigrant rights seeing this issue very much in line with the dignity of the human person and recognize the dehumanizing experience of the immigrant community as they struggle to find opportunities and hope for themselves and their families.
The concerns expressed by the Bishops were in relation to the Senate Bill that is currently being developed. The issued revolved around humane approaches to the immigrant process based on Catholic social teaching and the experiences that Catholic Charities and our immigrant services has in providing services to this community. Among other issues these concerns included the promotion of a viable and family based pathway to citizenship, family reunification policies, and addressing inhumane treatment of immigrants and their children during the detention process.
A couple of us from Catholic Charities on Long Island joined other to advocate on this issue with our legislators. While other members of our delegation met with the Senators we had the opportunity to meet with four of our representatives. Overall we found the two democrats and two republicans that we met supportive in principle. Although we recognized that at present the House does not have a Bill we gave them a heads up with regards to the position of the US Bishops. More importantly perhaps is the relationship we developed with our representatives as we invited them to follow up with us for a further conversation where we can share with them some of the Long Island immigrant experience. (more…)
Christians do not always get along. We argue over ecclesiastical organization (church polity), disagree on theological positions, interpret biblical passages differently, and take opposite views on several social matters. What has been interesting to watch in the immigration debate, however, is how Christians from a wide spectrum of ecclesial and theological traditions have come together to support comprehensive immigration reform.
I do a fair amount of traveling to speak on immigration and a bit of writing on it, too. My area is the biblical and theological foundations for a more open stance to immigrants. I am an evangelical, but I have been with every kind of Protestant denomination imaginable (in church gatherings, seminaries, and universities) and Roman Catholics. I have met amazing people — from academics, to church leaders, to pastors, to lay people working with immigrants “on the ground.” I continue to be encouraged by their passion and learn from their work. I count them as friends; and I probably never would have met many of them if not for immigration efforts.
We are standing shoulder-to-shoulder on this, even though there are some who oppose us. What a wonderful testimony of Christian unity! As we continue to strive for change, let’s also enjoy the journey together with our other brothers and sisters in our common cause. And may these new friendships continue.
Prof. Danny Carroll
As I minister within the immigrant community here in Long Island I am becoming more aware of how important it is for us as ministers of charity and justice to pronounce on social principles that some of us have taken for granted. The rhetoric that is used to lambaste labor unions, critique the living wage campaign, and redefine the right to work as simply providing cheap labor opportunities (think of the so called “right to work laws” recently passed in Indiana and Michigan) demonstrates that we have forgotten the painful historical lessons of the Great Depression and unregulated capitalism. Catholic social teaching’s very first document, Rerum Novarum, was critical of this profit focused market economy and this led our Church to support the organized labor movement. (more…)
In these past few days many of us turned our attention to the Boston community in the midst of the marathon bombing. We expressed our prayers and condolences to the victims of the tragic violence that they suffered. We are always saddened at the tragic loss of life and our hearts go out to the victims and their families and friends. Both Pope Francis and Bishop William Murphy, our Bishop here in Long Island, offer the following exhortation that St. Paul gives the Roman Christian community as a reflection for moving forward: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom.12:21). May we have the courage and strength to heal these tragic wounds with a goodness that Jon Sobrino reminds us can be “something conflictive and countercultural.”
 Jon Sobrino, “Where is God? Earthquake, Terrorism, Barbarity, and Hope” (Orbis Book, Maryknoll NY, 2004) pg. 25
For the Latino/a community popular religious practices are public forums where the symbols of our faith are often juxtaposed against the social experiences that we confront. These practices offer a counter-cultural message reminding us of the Gospel of life and liberation, a Gospel that carries with it both social and spiritual implications. It is a … Continue reading