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Oblate Parish in Roma, Texas Celebrates National Immigration Week January 18th, 2012
Parishioners at Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Roma, Texas commemorated National Immigration Week (Jan 8-14) with a homily on immigration and prayers for refugees and immigrants. The parish staff also used the bulletin insert provided by the USCCB and encouraged everyone to take it home and use it in prayer all week. The issue of immigration is a story close to home for many of the parishioners at Our Lady of Refuge. The parish is very close the Rio Grande River and members include large landowners, local government officials and immigrant families whose relatives may have faced detention and deportation issues before. Thanks to Fr. Bob Wright OMI for leading the parish into celebrating National Immigration Week.
Papal Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees January 12th, 2012
Copies of the Pope’s message, entitled ‘Migration and New Evangelization’, can be accessed in English, Spanish, French and Italian. Click on the links to access the documents:
Bishops Speak Out on Migration Issues July 7th, 2011
In June, the Catholic Bishops from North America, Central America and the Caribbean met in Costa Rica to discuss migration in the region.
The bishops raised concerns about the increased violence against and kidnapping of migrants by organized crime, the increase in deportations between the United States and Mexico, the tragedy of human trafficking and growing economic inequality. The Bishops also urged continued support for the recovery of Haiti.
Please find attached the final statement of the bishops in English and Spanish – outlining priority concerns regarding the level of violence and kidnapping of migrants, threats against Church personnel working with them, the need to prioritize economic and development alternatives.
A full text of the joint statement in English can be found at: http://www.txcatholic.org/index.php/news/216-regional-bishops-issue-joint-statement-on-migration
A Spanish version is also available: http://www.usccb.org/mrs/regional-consultation-on-migration-2011-espanol.pdf
Missionary Oblates responding to the needs of the homeless in Chula Vista December 31st, 2010
Fr Ricardo Lopez OMI shares his experience of working with the homeless and migrants in Chula Vista, California in this recent video.
UN Warns Governments to Respect the Rights of all Migrants October 1st, 2010
The Global Migration Group, which consists of twelve UN agencies, the World Bank and the International Organization for Migration, has a issued a warning to all governments to respect the rights of migrants – especially the millions of undocumented immigrants who are particularly vulnerable to abuse.
The inter-agency statement affirms the duties of governments to control border crossings, but stresses that this must be done in accordance with international human rights law. Global Migration Group is an inter-agency group which aims to promote the wider application of international and regional norms and better coordinated approaches regarding international migration.
The Oblate JPIC office welcomes this U.N statement protecting the rights of migrants. The issue of migration is experienced by Missionary Oblates serving around the world. At the local level, each Oblate community and region has developed its own initiatives to respond to migrants. Some of the programs are focused on pastoral care, joining interfaith action to support immigrants and advocacy initiatives.
Issues of migrants are closely monitored by the JPIC office and we engage at various levels to promote their rights. The office continues to engage the issue in the US, by supporting congressional actions for comprehensive immigration reform. At the international level, we encourage corporate initiatives to fight human trafficking and improve the rights of migrant labor in corporate supply chains.
Upcoming JPIC Events – Spring of 2010 February 25th, 2010
April 14-15, 2010: Missionary Oblates US Province JPIC committee meeting in Washington D.C. (More information in the Members section of the website)
April 15 -17, 2010: VIVAT INTERNATIONAL conference for religious Congregations working at the UN; location: Washington, D.C
June 21-25, 2010: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan.