News Archives » family separation
On the last Saturday of June, the morning began with coffee and quiche. The early sun warmed the morning promising a bright and sunny day as over 2000 demonstrators gathered along the shore of Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA for the Families Belong Together rally. Local geese, families with their children and adults, gathered with the thousands of Americans, across the country, demanding the reunification of immigrant families seeking refuge from the tyranny of physical and emotional violence. Many speakers and musicians addressed the injustice encountered by immigrant families at the southern border of the United States.
However, as I sat with my mother who gladly joined me at the rally, I felt a growing gloom as I considered the anguish of parents and children forcibly separated by the cruel and in-inhumane policies of the government that represents this country. A country once called “a city on the hill.” As I walked to the gathering site for the demonstration, I encountered another aging man who shared my gloomy feelings, asking, “how many times do we have to meet like this?” Indeed, how many times? As the families and adults gathered, I heard in the speeches and music the answer to our common question: “as many times as the vulnerable and powerless are harmed and treated unjustly.” As the crowd swelled my spirits began to rise, there was a spirit of compassion weaving its thread throughout the crowd. Many signs, in one way or another, spoke of “building bridges, not walls.”
While with this crowd, and standing in solidarity with the many children and parents being denied their intrinsic right of being family, I was reminded that my participation in this rally was my solidarity with the nameless children and parents, as well as my solidarity with my Oblate brothers and their parishioners who know the names and their humanity.
Together, compassion has taken to the streets and the national demonstrations and the presence of my Oblate brothers and the many volunteers, echoed the words of St. Augustine: “an unjust law is no law at all.”
Around 20 to 30 new children have been attending Sunday Mass at St. Eugene de Mazenod Church in Brownsville, Tex. Parishioners pray for the children during the liturgy and then serve them breakfast.
“They want to take care of them and let them know they’re loved,” said the Rev. Kevin Collins, an Oblate and pastor of the parish. The children come from Casa Padre, the nearby shelter for unaccompanied minors.
Protect Immigrant Children and Families and Keep Them Together June 20th, 2018
“And who is my neighbor?”
He answered, ‘The one who treated him with mercy.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
Luke 10: 29; 36-37
The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate – JPIC Ministry expresses solidarity with many religious voices and communities in condemning the separation of children from their parents at the U.S/Mexico border. We support the concerns as expressed by other Catholic voices including United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that migrant children and families seeking safety must be kept together. A zero tolerance policy of separating children from their parents is not a deterrent. As people of faith, we are called to stand and protect the dignity of poor and abandoned people, especially vulnerable children and parents crossing the border.
“When the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.”
(Pope Francis to Join Session of U.S Congress- September 24, 2015).
Tell Congress to Stop Separating Families & Protect Family Unity. Join U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign action calling for the protection of immigrant children and families seeking safety and shelter from violence by keeping these families together.
God: We pray for all people. We pray for those who leave their countries of origin in search for a better life for their families. Help us to stand strong in our actions of solidarity and prayers. Give courage to elected leaders to do the right thing of enacting laws that protects all immigrant children and their families. You always make something new in each one of us. With your help, let us build a better world for all people. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Five Things You Can Do to End Family Separation: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Five-Ways-You-Can-Help-Stop-Family-Separation.pdf
On June 20, the Trump Administration announced an executive order on family separation. Together with other faith partners, we will provide an update in the coming days on whether this order ends the zero-tolerance policy on migrant families.