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.

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."

Friends of DACA student question policy change

Areli Reyes, center, was brought to the United States from Mexico by her parents when she was 7. She remains in the U.S. legally under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order. She now attends Forest Park Community College, where she talked with friends Kim Dang and Kristen Nipper after class.

Molly Paterson met Areli Reyes in third grade at Flynn Park Elementary School in University City.

"We were in Girls Scouts together and things like that and became really good friends" through middle school and high school, Paterson said.

She knows her friend as a hard worker in and outside of school. Reyes, a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Ferguson, worked at a frozen yogurt shop through high school and in community college.

Catholic judicial nominee grilled by senators on her religious views

WASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., spurred outrage about possible religious tests for judicial appointees when she questioned a Catholic judicial nominee Sept. 6 about what impact her faith would have on her interpretation of the law.

Reaction from Catholic leaders to the hearing for Amy Coney Barrett, nominee for a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, was swift, with the head of the U.S. bishops' committee on religious liberty calling the Senate hearing "deeply disappointing."

Editorial | When practicality and a Gospel mandate meet

The absurdity of ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program might best be summed up by reports by McClatchy and other news sources. The news outlets reported that some young immigrants protected by the program who were brought to the U.S. undocumented as children and later enlisted in the military are worried they'll be deported, left without legal protection to stay in the country they signed up to defend.

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