Immigration

Fear becomes sin when it leads to hostility toward migrants, pope says

Family members brought up the offertory gifts as Pope Francis celebrated Mass marking the World Day of Migrants and Refugees Jan. 14 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The World Day for Migrants and Refugees has been an annual celebration of the Catholic Church for more than 100 years, with St. Pius X beginning the observance in 1914.

VATICAN CITY — Being afraid and concerned about the impact of migration is not a sin, Pope Francis said, but it is a sin to let those fears lead to a refusal to help people in need.

"The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection," the pope said Jan. 14, celebrating Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

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

Image

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.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Share hope with those seeking better lives

Pope Francis greeted immigrants and representatives of Caritas Internationalis at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 27. Caritas Internationalis was kicking off its “Share the Journey” campaign in support of immigrants.

VATICAN CITY — The same hope that moves people to seek a better life for themselves and their loved ones also moves the hearts of men and women to welcome migrants and refugees with open arms, Pope Francis said.

"Those who come to our land and we who go toward their heart to understand them, to understand their culture and language" embark on a shared journey that "without hope cannot be done," the pope said Sept. 27 at his weekly general audience. "Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to share the journey! Do not be afraid to share hope."

Syndicate content