During the recent weeks of steady reporting about the influx of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America crossing the U.S. border and no quick solutions being presented for what will happen to them, many churches and dioceses are seeking ways to help.
What’s being done by Catholic groups around the country? Here are some places you can go to read about it.
CATHOLIC GROUPS PRESENT AT NATIONAL MIGRATION CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON
on July 10 during the National Migration Conference in Washington, SEVERAL Catholic agencies spoke about some of the possible ways volunteers, financial donations and other types of resources might be put to use. Represented agencies: Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
US CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE (USCCB)
In the recently published Providing Safe Passage to Unaccompanied Children from Central America, the Migration and Refugee Services Department of the USCCB, highlights the causes, how Catholic teaching encourages us to help and what we can do to help. Read more. . .
DIOCESE OF TUSCON
Tuscon, Arizona Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas and other community leaders continue to converse with Border Patrol about the treatment of people in its custody. Most recently the focus has been on the unaccompanied children, who he said need pastoral and social services and legal representation.
Border Patrol is "trying to be as sensitive and as helpful as possible in situations that are very challenging," he said. "However, we are asking that they be open to letting the community be helpful in caring for the spiritual needs of these children."
The bishop said he had asked permission to celebrate Mass for children at the Nogales station, but his request was denied.
Catholic News Service, Jul-23-2014 Read more. . .
USCCB Communications Sends Over 1,200 Donated Bibles to Unaccompanied Minors Detained in Arizona
Bishops Kicanas issued the call for bible donations to serve the spiritual needs of these children as they await an uncertain future. The American Bible Society donated some 1,000 Bibles and approximately 600 copies of “La Llave,” an edition specifically for young people. Verbo Divino donated 200 copies of their Catholic Family Bible. Read more. . .
CATHOLIC CHARITIES USA
ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley was among the local clergy who joined Governor Deval Patrick at a press conference, July 18, when the governor announced that two Massachusetts military bases could be used to house some of the influx of children coming to the United States over the border with Mexico.
"We do not have Church facilities that are appropriate, but we do have social service agencies in the archdiocese with skilled resources to provide programs of assistance and support within the framework of a larger federal and state program," he said. Read more. . .
ARCHDIOCESE OF BALTIMORE CATHOLIC CHARITIES
Catholic Charities wants to care for about 50 children from Central America at a campus in Baltimore County, seeking a role in the immigration crisis even though the consideration of other sites in Maryland has met with fierce local opposition. The organization plans to apply to federal officials to house the children at St. Vincent's Villa, a residential facility on Dulaney Valley Road, Catholic Charities head William J. McCarthy Jr. confirmed Thursday night. Read more. . .
The Columban Fathers' site for providing fast, easy advocacy for immigration actions: Click here.
Many other U.S. dioceses, Catholic organizations and Catholic Charities offices are responding to the unaccompanied children crisis. What is here is a sampling of offerings gleaned from articles available on the web. Our Newark archdiocese has two initiatives underway. Our Catholic Charities has been asked for and is providing the services of its associates who are experienced in areas of assistance program processing. Catholic Charities is also providing assistance to local advocacy groups engaged in addressing the needs of individuals caught in the unaccompanied children crisis.
LOCAL VOLUNTEER NEEDED TO HELP UNACCOMPANIED MINORS
The Catholic Charities of our Archdiocese is giving help to unaccompanied minors by representing some of them in immigration court and by giving orientation to their custodians. The office regularly accepts volunteers to help with this work at the Immigration Assistance Office, 976 Broad Street, Newark. Volunteers must be available to provide assistance during regular office hours. For more information, view the CCAN on Facebook www.facebook.com/CCANImmigration.