Sisters of the Holy Family and the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose have united with people across the country in FAST ACTION for Immigration Reform.
Sister Gladys Guenther, SHF, President of Sisters of the Holy Family, said, “from Sept. 9 through Oct. 18, Sisters will be engaged in prayer, fasting and action aimed at urging Congress to fix our broken immigration system.
“This is an opportunity to add our voices to other faith communities in urging Congress to enact reform that reflects the best of our values and helps to build a stronger, more welcoming country,” she said.
As a symbolic beginning of their efforts, on Sept. 10 the Sisters and friends gathered on the sidewalk along Mission Boulevard in Fremont to hang a banner, an adaptation of a quote from Jesus: “I was an immigrant and you welcomed me.”
Sister Gladys said that their current stance on immigration is an extension of what “we have always done -- served and cared for immigrant populations.”
Her congregation began in San Francisco in the 1880s where their foundress served Italian families and children in North Beach. The work continues today serving Kmhmu, Hispanic farm workers and other immigrant and marginalized people.
Catholic Social Teaching
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration has called for Congress to enact humane immigration reform legislation soon.
He said, “Each day in our parishes, social service programs, hospitals, and schools we witness the human consequences
of a broken immigration system. Families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings die in the desert. Without positive change to our immigration laws, we cannot help our brothers and sisters.”
The website of the USCCB offers the following prospective: “The Catholic Church in the United States is an immigrant Church with a long history of embracing diverse newcomers and providing assistance and pastoral care to immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the move.
“Our Church has responded to Christ’s call for us to ‘welcome the stranger among us,’ for in this encounter with the immigrant, the migrant, and the refugee in our midst, we encounter Christ.”
The body of Church teaching includes papal encyclicals, bishops’ statements and pastoral letters. In the 2001 pastoral statement, Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, the Bishops of the United States called Catholics to solidarity with diverse newcomers.
In 2003, U.S. Bishops together with the Bishops of Mexico, in their pastoral statement, “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope”/“Juntos en el Camino de la Esperanza Ya no Somos Extranjeros,” acknowledged the current immigration system is in need of reform.
Sisters of the Holy Family and the Dominican Sisters of San Jose invite others to join them and take part in the effort -- pray, fast, and take action by starting or signing petitions, and by contacting legislative representatives.
For further information contact:
Sister Gladys Guenther, President, Sisters of the Holy Family, 510-292-9833; or Charlotte Hall, Hall Media Group, 530-895-9484, firstname.lastname@example.org