Communities of Catholic Sisters based in Ohio and Kentucky are calling on President Obama and Congress to work together to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and on State legislators to refrain from passing laws that would restrict the human rights of immigrants. The collaborative effort comprises the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Region 6 and the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center. Local sponsors of the project are the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, Humility of Mary Sisters and Notre Dame Sisters of Chardon.
To make their point, the collaborative has rented billboards in cities and towns throughout Ohio and Kentucky with the message: “I was a stranger an immigrant and you welcomed me”. The message, based on the words of Jesus, is taken from the Gospel of Matthew and will remain for a month or more. Billboards locally will be located at the corner of McGuffey and Albert streets and at 927 Market St. in Youngstown beginning Oct.22.
The public is invited to a prayer service regarding this issue at the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Motherhouse Chapel, 4250 Shields Rd., Canfield, Wed., Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. After the ½ hour prayer service, refreshments will be offered in the Motherhouse dining room. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to Sister Bridget Nolan, Motherhouse Administrator, at 330-792-7636.
The Catholic Sisters pledge to be welcoming communities and challenge their neighbors to be the same. They encourage people of faith to join them through prayer, reflection, education and action.
The Sisters note that the deferred action policy initiated Aug. 15, 2012, does help many young immigrants who came to the United States as children. However, much more must be done. Comprehensive
Immigration reform is needed on the federal level to fix a system that is now broken and causing pain and suffering to families.
The failure on the part of the federal government to reform the present unworkable immigration system has resulted in some states passing legislation that is punitive and harmful to human rights.
The Sisters call on their state legislators to refrain from enacting such harsh laws.
The Sisters understand that enforcement of law is part of any immigration policy. They note, however, that the present policy of involving state and local law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of federal immigration law is not achieving that goal. They believe that true security lies in building relationships and respecting human rights and only true, comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform can deal with the crisis in our nation.
For more information, visit www.catholicsisterscare.blog.com.