Russ Testa requested this information be passed on to the ordained friars:
Would you join your brother priests on April 2 in preaching the Word of God in support of those living in fear in our country to help them find a path to citizenship? We are seeking to create and celebrate a “Critical Mass” on the weekend of April 2, uniting us as one in praying for and preaching on behalf of our brothers and sisters seeking to realize their God-given potential and to provide for their families here in these United States. This call for our collective action comes primarily from the Gospel and from the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope campaign.
In this Lenten Season, we are especially attuned to the needs of the poor. Our fasting reminds us that there is a deep hunger within us, a hunger no food can satisfy, a hunger to live out our God-given potential in order to contribute to the ongoing struggle and journey to draw all of our brothers and sisters one day to the heart of God. Our almsgiving provides one way to reach out to help the poor and needy. Our prayer calls us to widen our circle of concern to include all who hunger for justice.
We know that there are many in this country that live here in fear. These are millions of undocumented men, women and children who struggle day-to-day in menial labor, paying taxes, buying homes, contributing to our communities, yet unable to obtain driver’s licenses and to participate fully in the American dream.
Much media attention is focused on the immigrants themselves; however, the real problem is an economic system that has required as many as 300,000 new laborers each year and a political system that grants only 5,000 worker visas each year. Exacerbating the flow of undocumented workers to this country has been the failure of NAFTA and CAFTA to shore up the economies of our Latin American brothers and sisters.
Here is what we are asking:
- Commit to preaching the weekend of April 2 on this issue and/or to providing information in your bulletin to educate people on the issue. Materials can be found at www.justiceforimmigrants.org/facts_figures.html. Confirm your intent to Fr. Larry Dowling at firstname.lastname@example.org; write in the subject line: “Critical Mass for Immigrant Justice.” Give your name, parish and diocese. He will report back to you how many of our brothers are joining us to build a Critical Mass for Immigrant Justice.
- Encourage your parishioners to call their senators and representatives the week of April 2-8 to support responsible, respectful immigration reform, reflected best thus far in the McCain-Kennedy legislation. You can find the addresses and phone numbers of your local representatives at http://www.archdiocese-chgo.org/immigration.shtm by entering your zip+4 number. You can also access other pertinent educational material at this Web site.
Cardinal George has expressed his support of this effort. Thank you for holding the many efforts to help our immigrant brothers and sisters in your prayers during this time. Hope you’ll join us in this national effort!
Your brother priests in Chicago