We Must Protect Dreamers

Posted on 15. Feb, 2018 by .

It is vital that we stand in solidarity with immigrant families and defend family-baScreen Shot 2018-02-14 at 8.50.36 PMsed immigration.
Inside you will find social media examples, family immigration backgrounder, prayer resource, a postcard and a draft Catholic leaders letter to elected officials

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Posted on 05. Feb, 2018 by .


The Trump administration has asked Congress for nearly $18 billion to build more than 700 miles of border wall along the U.S.–Mexico border. Alejandro Dávila, press secretary at Earthjustice, explains how the construction of a border wall imposes environmental costs and natural disaster, threatens border communities, harms native wildlife and wastes taxpayer dollars.

Construction of a wall is likely to create roadblocks in the migration paths of several threatened and endangered species and will also hinder the natural flow of waterways. In August 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued a waiver that exempts construction efforts near San Diego from environmental and other regulations. Read an interview with environmental lawyer Dinah Bear on the impact of the decision on the environment and coming legal challenges to the wall.

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What Is My Real Work, With a Capital “W”?

Posted on 05. Feb, 2018 by .

What is MY real work? This is a question that we may (and should) find ourselves asking not just at the end of high school or college when we are entering the work world, but many times over our lives and careers. Indeed, our real work may evolve over time as we do and as our culture does. As we and the times change, we are called to live into our gifts more specifically and with greater impact. We are invited to “transform work with a small ‘w’ to Work with a capital ‘W’”, (Bernard Amadei, Engineers Without Borders co-founder). In this way, we live into the Priesthood of All Workers.
During the protestant reformation, Martin Luther transformed traditional understanding of the priesthood to “the priesthood of all believers.” This “did not make everyone into church workers; rather, it turned every kind of work into a sacred calling. A major issue at the time was the prohibition of marriage for people in the religious orders. The Reformers looked at Scripture and insisted that marriage is ordained by God and that the family, far from being something less spiritual than the life of a hermit or anchorite, is the arena for some of the most important spiritual work. A father and a mother are “priests” to their children, not only taking care of their physical needs, but nourishing them in the faith. Every kind of work, including what had heretofore been looked down upon—the work of peasants and craftsmen—was an occasion for priesthood, for exercising a holy service to God and to one’s neighbor”. Michael Poore
Matthew Fox expands upon the nature of priesthood, “For me, the notion of priesthood is far too useful to be restricted to ecclesial offices and clerical strivings. It deserves to go public, to assist the needed move from the secularization of our work worlds and professions to a re-sacralizing of them. I raised the question in my book The Reinvention of Work about whether it is time to talk about the priesthood of all workers. If a priest is a “midwife of grace,” is it not true that whether one works as therapist or artist, business person or activist, educator or nurse, doctor or mechanic, one can be a midwife of grace? And if so, our work is a priestly work, a work that goes deeper than just bringing a paycheck home or paying our household bills? Is our work not a Sacrament connecting us to the “Great Work” of the universe?Matthew Fox
David Chernikoff, MDiv., Insight Meditation Instructor, explored the connection of right livelihood, service, and work in a recent teaching, “We see in the right livelihood teachings of the Buddhist tradition as well as in other wisdom traditions the concept of relating to work as a form of service. For a lot of people who work, whether on a paid basis or as a volunteer, the joy of service is one of the greatest rewards. I think about the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore who said it this way: ‘I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.’ READ MORE

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Baby Jesus was a Dreamer in Egypt

Posted on 21. Jan, 2018 by .


From religionnews.com –

I feel guilty that I have not written a column on “Dreamers,” those children who were brought illegally into the United States by their parents. The reason I find it difficult to write such a column is that for me the whole idea of deporting Dreamers is so mean and unjust that I find it incomprehensible that anyone would want to do it.

No matter what you think of people coming into the country illegally, one can hardly blame children brought by their parents. And once these children have spent their formative years here, the idea of sending them back to a country they do not remember, with a language they may not know, is spiteful.

It is especially appalling as we conclude the Christmas season to hear Christians denounce amnesty for Dreamers. Did they listen to the Gospels at all during Christmas? Do they not understand that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees fleeing for their lives to take sanctuary in Egypt? Do they not realize that Baby Jesus was a Dreamer in Egypt?

The Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel was simply repeating the experience of the Jewish people who also took refuge in Egypt. The Egyptians, like many Americans today, exploited these immigrants, treating them like slaves and cheating them of their wages.

The Bible is filled with admonitions about treating strangers and aliens justly.

  • “You shall not oppress or afflict a resident alien, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:20).  
  • “So you too should love the resident alien, for that is what you were in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:19).
  • “You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:34).

Where are the biblical fundamentalists who say that American law should be based on the Bible? Christians, especially those who believe that Scripture should be the foundation of American law, should be leading the charge in support of Dreamers, refugees and other immigrants.

Instead, what we see is too many Christians siding with a president who holds Dreamers hostage for ransom — $18 billion to pay for his wall along the border with Mexico. Legislation to protect Dreamers is urgently needed; a wall is not. Yet, Donald Trump insists that he will not sign a bill protecting Dreamers unless it includes his wall.

Every white person in this country has ancestors who came here as refugees or immigrants. Many were fleeing political or religious persecution, but millions more came because America provided economic opportunities for themselves and their families. Today’s refugees and immigrants are coming for exactly the same reasons. But now the drawbridge is being pulled up by those whose immigrant ancestors arrived earlier.


A sign welcomes immigrants and refugees to the Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Anglican Church in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 18, 2017. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Some Christian churches have declared themselves sanctuary churches, following an ancient tradition when secular authorities could not invade a church to get an accused person. While churches cannot guarantee sanctuary today, these churches have symbolically placed themselves with the undocumented and not only accompany them when arrested but also financially support their legal defense.

It is time to stop playing politics and start acting like God-fearing people. Otherwise we will hear this on Judgment Day: “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was … a stranger and you gave me no welcome” (Matthew 25).

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DACA Recipients – Keeping the American Dream Alive

Posted on 21. Jan, 2018 by .


From Catholic Legislative Network –

Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, has granted work permits and protection from deportation to young undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. Today, more than a quarter of DACA’s 800,000 recipients, often referred to as “Dreamers,” live in California. Although their paths to the United States may have been different, the dedication to the community in which they live is quite similar.

(Download a PDF file of this story suitable for use as a bulletin insert or send a message to Congress.)

One such Dreamer is Jesus Limón, who was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when he was eight-years-old. Limón said his time growing up in California was filled with moments of fear and uncertainty due to his residency status. But, Limón credits his faith in God for helping him through hard times.

He also believes giving back to the community is paramount. In the past, Limón worked as a grant writer and as a volunteer tutor. “I learned the way literacy can empower communities,” he said. After DACA was enacted, Limón earned his Master’s degree and began working as an Assistant Professor and English Lecturer at Sacramento area colleges.  “There was a tremendous shift in terms of economics,” he said.

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