Push for revision of immigration legislation builds on prayer, fasting and preaching

Categories: Nation/World

Sept. 13, 2013, edition
Catholic News Service

Faith-based advocacy in support of immigration reform is taking a multi-pronged approach as Congress resumes after the August break, with prayer and fasting being added to letter-writing and public speaking.

Over the weekend of Sept. 7 and 8, dioceses and parishes in 22 states focused on the Catholic Church’s teaching on migration in homilies and other activities.

Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, in a Sept. 8 letter to the people of the archdiocese, reminded them of their roots, saying today’s immigrants may “come in good part from Asia and Latin America, but their needs are in many ways similar to those of our ancestors.”

“The church’s interest in the immigration question continues to be a combination of pastoral care and public advocacy,” Cardinal O’Malley said in the letter. “We seek to provide a welcome in our parishes, schools and social service agencies, and also to have a place in the debate about a fair and just public policy.”

Across the country in Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez issued a statement in his capacity as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration that said, “Now is the time for Catholics to let their elected officials know that they support immigration reform.”

He said the immigration system is broken and “as a result, families are being broken apart and millions of people, including children, are being hurt. We need immigration reform to help our nation live up to its beautiful promise of equality and dignity for all people.”