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Oblate Immigration Materials for Advent

November 27th, 2007

Walking Together in Faith

In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love), Pope Benedict XVI reminds Catholics of the unbreakable connection between love of God and love of neighbor. Because God has first loved us unconditionally, we are compelled to love one another. And in loving our neighbor, we meet the person of Christ. But who is my neighbor?

Advent is a wonderful opportunity to create an atmosphere of welcoming neighbors into faith communities. In Advent, Christians await the Incarnation – God becoming human, God crossing all borders to make a home with humanity.

Christians believe the birth of every child marks the entry of God into the world. Each and every person is created in the image and likeness of God. This image of God is not limited by national borders or walls.

Today there are those who arrive in the U.S. to make a new beginning and who receive the same welcome as the Holy Family received – rejection and suspicion. In Advent, Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of a Jesus, whose family became migrants soon after his birth, traveling to Egypt to escape Herod’s persecution.

In addition to the good ministry and advocacy for immigrants that YOU already do – here is another chance in advent to Walk Together in Faith with Immigrants – to reflect and pray for those who have died at the U.S./Mexico border.

The Human Face in the Immigration Debate

Millions of immigrants in the United States continue live in fear of raids, discrimination and deportation. More undocumented immigrants are routinely denied worker protections or social services even though they pay taxes. Anti-immigrant vigilante groups are growing in membership and constantly advocating discriminatory immigration policy.

The status quo immigration policy has led to the proliferation of deaths of immigrants by drowning, heat stroke, accidents from train hopping, and dehydration. This failed policy has increased in establishing radical border vigilante groups, increased human smuggling, and gross violations of human rights at the U.S/Mexico border.

The other human face of immigration is already in the U.S. The parents may not be undocumented, but the children are United States citizens. If the parents are deported, who will take care of the children? The immigrant is mistreated by an employer or neighbor, but is afraid to report it out of fear he or she will be deported or left without a job. They may need medical care and have no resources to get the needed care. What are we called to do as communities of faith?

During this season of Advent; walking together in solidarity with immigrants is a responsive way of preparing for the birth of Jesus.

Migration Resources:

Resources on IMMIGRATION with group discussion guides (DVD):

Line in the Sand

Stories from the USA and Mexico borders use the power of theater to tell the personal stories of people affected by U.S./Mexico border migration. Through an hour-long collection of monologues and photos, audiences are exposed to a variety of points of view on this complex and critical issue. More…

Strangers No Longer

This 25 minute DVD portrays the immigrants’ struggles in this country and shows why the church needs to respond to this issue. More…

Dying to Live

This 30 minute DVD is an outstanding educational tool that responds to the question, “Why do illegal immigrants come to this country?” Many schools, universities (not only Catholic) around the country are using this DVD to educate audiences on immigration. For information on this and other DVDs and resources, please visit the website of the Institute for Latino Studies: Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture, University of Notre Dame

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