JPIC Office and Hispanic Committee Offer Online Immigration Workshop

Russell Testa Around the Province

More than a dozen people participated last week in an online meeting with specialists on immigration. The director of the Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation provided a report on the event that he said was a joint effort by the Province’s Hispanic Ministry Committee and JPIC Directorate. Supporting immigrants is one of the goals specified in the Province’s 2008 to 2013 strategic plan.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Last week, 13 friars and partners-in-ministry engaged in work with immigrants in HNP ministries participated in an information-filled discussion with two lawyers from the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). The aim of the Jan. 25 web-call was to allow HNP ministries to share situations and issues they encounter in their work with our immigrant brothers and sisters and to seek advice as to how to provide the best support.

The topics ranged from employment and banking challenges to status change questions and a host of other difficult situations. The advice offered was very helpful. The participants received a number of links and suggested resources to help them better meet the needs of immigrants in our ministries. All the provided resources will be posted on the JPIC page of the HNP website in the next several weeks and included in the February JPIC resource mailing.

Sr. Pat Klemm, OSF, from Beach Haven, N.J., said she was “excited about the exchange” — both to get the information and to learn that the challenges faced by many immigrants in her community are very similar to those encountered in other ministries. Other participants echoed this sentiment. In the end, it became very clear that CLINIC is an invaluable resource to Holy Name Province and to the larger Church.

Participants were grateful to Allison Posner and Karen Siciliano Lucas for their incredible expertise and for their willingness to serve as an on-going resource. All HNP ministries are strongly encouraged to frequent the CLINIC website.

The group members expressed a desire for more regular interaction with the specialists from CLINIC and said they enjoyed the benefits of Holy Name Province’s new web-conferencing service. Those interested in viewing slides and listening to the conversation, can use this link to access a video stream through their computer.

Participating friars were Lawrence Hayes, OFM, John Heffernan, OFM, Erick López, OFM, Christopher Posch, OFM, Gonzalo Torres, OFM, and Christopher VanHaight, OFM.

In addition to Sr. Pat, the participating partners-in-ministry were David Briones of Athens, Ga., Maria Clara Delgado of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, Frank Lesko of Raleigh, N.C., Ana Schmitt of Wilmington, Del., and Jocelyn Thomas of the HNP Communications Office.

— Russell Testa has directed the Province’s Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation since 2000.