Missouri Catholic Conference urges support for DREAM Act

The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) is asking people to contact their U.S. senators and congressional representatives to pass the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act is a proposal brought up in the past in Congress — the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — which would provide a path to citizenship for people brought to the United States as minors without documentation.

Priory student’s ‘Bridges’ leads to understanding

Priory student Sohan Kancherla, left, founded Bridges to America to raise awareness and assist refugees and immigrants assimilating into U.S. society. He helped teach a citizenship class at the International Institute and talked with former student Firas Kazlee who immigrated to St. Louis from Mosul, Iraq. “I just used Google to pick a place in the U.S. that looked nice,” Kazlee said, explaining how he came to St. Louis.

An interest in a program of pre-medical studies in college led a St. Louis Priory High School student to begin the nonprofit Bridges to America program to assist immigrants and refugees as they transition to life in the United States.

Sohan Kancherla's efforts helped other Priory students better understand migrants and the public policy issues that concern them.

Ending DACA will lead to ‘humanitarian crisis,’ says L.A. archbishop

Brenda Martinez worries her family will be separated if she is deported due to ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which currently allows her to stay in the United States. She arrived in the United States at the age of 6 and currently lives in Indianapolis, Ind. with her husband and daughters Luna, 4, and Athenea, 5 months, who both are United States citizens.

LOS ANGELES — Congress must separate "the conversation about DACA" from the "larger issues" about U.S. immigration policy, because allowing the program to expire will lead "to a humanitarian crisis," especially in Los Angeles, said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez.

"As a nation, we have a moral and humanitarian obligation to the 'Dreamers.' These young people have done nothing wrong. And their futures hang in the balance of these debates," he wrote in a column. "So, I hope you will join me in urging our leaders in Congress to help them in a spirit of generosity and justice."

Catholics mark Migration Week with welcoming spirit


Government actions and rhetoric raising fears about immigration and refugee resettlement were countered by Catholics who celebrated National Migration Week Jan. 7-13 by calling for a more welcoming spirit.

Pope Francis, in an address Jan. 8 to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, warned against talking about migrants and migration "only for the sake of stirring up primal fears." The movements of peoples have always existed, and the freedom of movement — to leave one's homeland and to return — is a fundamental human right, he said.

St. Joseph’s Academy senior stands in solidarity with ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Claire Shackleford, one of the Martin Luther King, Jr. models of justice awardees, is a senior at St. Joseph’s Academy and president of their diversity club. She uses the MLK model as an approach to her efforts to participate in nonviolent ways of speaking out against racial injustice. She talked with students in her club at school including her friend, Kaylen Rice.

Last fall, Claire Shackleford and a few other students and teachers from St. Joseph's Academy left school early and went Downtown to attend the Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace and Solidarity.

Led by Archbishop Robert Carlson, the service at Kiener Plaza was a time to pray for peace and healing in St. Louis following a not-guilty verdict in the trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Share the Journey campaign urges Catholics to connect with migrants

A Rohingya refugee woman waited for aid with her grandson inside a temporary shelter Sept. 19 at a camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

WASHINGTON — A prayer here, a share on social media there, a voice of support in a letter to the editor, even a get-to-know-others potluck.

Supporting refugees and migrants can take many forms, and Pope Francis is hoping Catholics around the world will act over the next two years to encounter people on the move.

In the U.S., the Church's leading organizations have developed a series of activities, including prayers, that families, parishes, schools and individuals can undertake throughout the Share the Journey campaign the pope opened Sept. 27 at the Vatican.

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