Monday, 30 October 2017 03:14

I Was An Alien and You Welcomed Me

Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

The Maryknoll Affiliate Book Group has been discussing the experiences of immigrants in the US, guided by Miguel De La Torre’s Trails of Hope and Terror. That book emphasizes that Jesus was an undocumented refugee in Egypt and offers Christian responses to the alien.

Now we see people of color detained and arrested as they leave the county court house or go to work. Citizen protesters have been arrested as they block the path of Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE) vans. Immigrant attendance at church services and classes is down, perhaps due to fear of being in public. Executive orders have rescinded the DACA program that helps young immigrants, Dreamers, legally remain in the US to study or work.

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Bob & Ruth Kleeman – Houston Chapter

Most of our readers are familiar with Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, but perhaps not everyone is familiar with Mark and Louise Zwick in Houston, Texas.

They were volunteer missioners in El Salvador in the late 1970s but were forced to leave following death threats related to the civil war at the time. Upon their return to the US, they saw the need to help the refugees from Central America and commented that, “If we had any guts, we’d start a Catholic Worker House.” They founded a house of hospitality under the name of Casa Juan Diego in 1980, and ever since they have dedicated their lives, on a fulltime volunteer basis, to helping the needy.

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017 22:49

Welcoming the Stranger

How is your chapter, your community, responding to immigrants?

Since many immigrants in the US are threatened with deportation, various organizations are offering sanctuary and solidarity:

  • Some schools do not collect or release information that could brand a student as “illegal.”
  • Some churches offer physical sanctuary or assist other churches.
  • Some states or communities by law do not allow their resources to be used to enforce federal immigration rules.
  • Some families open their homes to individuals who are pursuing refugee status or to immigrant teenagers who have “aged out” of the foster care system and might be incarcerated or deported.
  • Some Affiliates visit immigrants in detention. Others accompany immigrants to appointments or to court.

What can we do?      What will we do?
What would Jesus do?

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