Thank you to the Arlington Catholic Herald for the article about Hispanic undocumented immigrants turning to the church for faith and assistance as they cope with government initiatives which target them. Their plight seems desperate, and it does seem our Christian call to love our neighbor (Mark 12: 31), to welcome the stranger (Matthew 25:35), and to share our cloaks and bounty (Matthew 5:40), calls us to empathetic understanding and social justice actions, like those provided by Hogar Immigrant Services.
Perhaps our Catholic parish communities are also called to partner more closely and creatively with our Hispanic brothers and sisters. Perhaps also the ACH could reprint the prophetic message recently published by James Martin, SJ, in America.
Every Hispanic immigrant – documented or undocumented – I have ever talked to has described heart-rending stories of why and how they left their countries, many times related to war, corruption and poverty. I always felt after hearing their stories that their lives and their dignity were threatened in their homelands. We who live in bounty (and we do compared to others) are not meeting our obligation to practice Jesus’ mercy and compassion unless we see these people, heart their voice, and advocate for them.
Mary Curry Narayan, parishioner, St. John Neumann