Immigration

Encounter with immigrants seen as ‘eye-opening’

Sister Maureen Freeman, CSJ, Maria Yaksic, a translator from La Paz, Bolivia, and Sister Joan Klass, CPPS, held hands during prayer. A Catholic “teach-in” on migration was held at St. John the Baptist Church. The event presented current social justice concerns on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. It included personal testimonies from immigrants during small group discussions.

Sitting down with an immigrant who has come to America for a better life was eye-opening for Sister Joan Klass.

Sister Joan, who attended a "Catholic Teach-In on Migration: Creating a Culture of Encounter" June 26 with six other Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, said her group was impressed with the immigrants who attended and gave testimony during discussions in a small-group setting. "We really are impressed the immigrants are putting themselves out there," she said. "It added a very special dimension to the evening."

Solidarity walk, Mass focuses on supporting neighbors

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Sylvia McLain and her family take the "loving your neighbor part of Catholicism" seriously, she said while waiting with her husband, their three children and several hundred others for a prayer service to start on the St. Louis University campus April 8.

U.S. bishops ask Catholics to accompany migrants and refugees

A woman in New York walked Sept. 16 past hundreds of refugee life jackets collected from the beaches of Greece. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged Catholics to “not lose sight of the fact that behind every policy is the story of a person in search of a better life.”

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops in a pastoral reflection called all Catholics to do what each of them can "to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States."

Titled "Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times," the reflection was issued March 22 "in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands," according to a news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Editorial | Sign of solidarity

In a new pastoral reflection, the U.S. bishops are once again calling on Catholics "to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States."

The document, "Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times," was released March 22 by the bishops' Administrative Committee. The document, they said, was done "in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands."

Egyptian priest praises Muslim support of threatened Christians

Displaced Egyptian Christian families, who used to live in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, sat near their belongings after arriving Feb. 24 at a church in Ismailia. Catholic churches in Ismailia, with help from Caritas, have helped Coptic Orthodox fleeing Islamic State attacks in North Sinai.

OXFORD, England — A spokesman for Egypt's Catholic Church praised local Muslims for helping embattled Christians after a series of Islamic State attacks in Sinai.

Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Coptic Catholic Church, said Christians must differentiate between ordinary Muslims and extremists.

"Ordinary Muslims are kind and try to help however they can — they're often first on the scene, rescuing the injured and taking them to hospitals," he said March 3, as Christians continued to flee Egypt's North Sinai region.

Immigrant entrepreneurs take risks, enrich local economy

Luis Rivero, right, who owns the company that makes Hůga Bar with his brother-in-law, immigrated from his native Venezuela in 2003. After 10 years working for DuPont, he decided to quit his job and start his small business. Rivero talked with Jamie Bubenik, Whole Life manager at Dierbergs, who said she is happy to have a St. Louis food product like Hůga Bars on the shelves.

Luis Rivero founded Hůga Bar (think "PowerBar") and recently added Whole Foods stores as an outlet for the nutrition bar with flavors inspired by international recipes.

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