US Catholic Faith in Real Life

How one man started a mission to resettle Syrian refugees

Ed Wethli welcomed a Syrian refugee family into his home and kick-started an international movement.

By Jennifer Szweda Jordan | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Justice

Thomas Gabriel, a Syrian refugee, considers the events of the past three years nothing short of a miracle. 


What we can learn from a Canadian response to refugees

A new Canadian program makes a point to celebrate refugees, rather than demonize them.

By Julia Pryce and Michael Kelly | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article News

Ammar (not his real name), a refugee from Syria, entered Canada two years ago at the age of 14. When he first moved to Canada with his mother and sister, he was extremely shy and had no friends or sense of community. But now, at 16, Ammar is an active member of an innovative group mentoring and youth development program called “Conversation Club.” After becoming more immersed in the program, Ammar says, “Now I can speak freely to other people, to my friends like this. Like when I came here, I don’t have any friends. Then, I came here and made all my friends.”


Show me the way to go home

Father Daniel Berrigan reflects on refugees, Christ, and the American Dream.

By Father Daniel Berrigan | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Justice

There isn’t much sense talking about “roots” unless you can also point to flowers, fruits, leaves, fronds, seeds.

Thus we point to what the poets call the human condition, borrowing from around us to look within us.

Refugees are uprooted.

You look into the eyes of boat children; they have the look of people torn out of their proper soil, their hair wild as roots, lives dangling in midair.

They’ve lost that look of flowers, that serene becalmed presence, an infinitely sweet persuasion and urging—“Be—like me!”


The U.S. helped cause the refugee crisis. Now we must respond.

The U.S. must take some responsibility for the collateral damage its policies created.

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article News

The president has promised a vast reinforced wall on the border to keep migrating people out. Immigration enforcement officers stalk homeless people without documentation outside church-run shelters. Refugee freezes, outright bans, and walls of paperwork keep those attempting to escape from the violent and unstable Middle East from safety.


The lies are killing us: The need for immigration reform

Understanding that “you are my other self” will lead us to a new national vision grounded in solidarity.

By Msgr. Arturo Bañuelas | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Justice

I come from the El Paso-Juárez border communities. For the past 15 years, El Paso has been ranked as the second safest city in the nation, while, just across the border, Ciudad Juárez ranks the second most dangerous city in the world. Daily in Juárez eight to 10 people are murdered, decapitated, kidnapped, tortured, or are simply disappeared.


The patient work of dialogue can save millions of lives

Few Catholics are as consistently successful at being peace than the members of the Sant’Egidio community.

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article News

Returning after an unprecedented visit with refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos in April last year, Pope Francis startled the world by bringing 12 Syrian refugees back with him to Rome. Who did he turn to for help in orchestrating this humanitarian public relations coup? The Rome-based community of Sant’Egidio.

Since that dramatic gesture, Sant’Egidio has been shepherding the pope’s refugee families and accepting new people fleeing Syria, assisting them with language lessons, job placement, and settling in to life in Rome.


When fear wins, Christianity loses

Christians have a responsibility to the men, women, and children fleeing their homelands.

By Heidi Russell | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article News

Every minute, 24 people across the globe leave their homes behind and become refugees—roughly 24 per minute, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. The recent travel ban by President Donald Trump that forbids refugees from seven countries to enter the United States complicates this exodus.


Alabama to Latino immigrants: No room at the inn

By Meinrad Scherer-Emunds | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article
In the wake of a harsh new immigration law, the popular devotions of a small Alabama parish mirror the new fears and hardships of its members.

Houses divided: How the new immigration laws separate families

By Alejandro Escalona | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article
New state laws and the failure of immigration reform are taking a heavy toll on children and families.

Carlos Rodriguez has been receiving letters and brochures from colleges and universities from across the country encouraging him to apply because of his outstanding grades in an Alabama high school. He dreams of the day he can start college next year.


Unexcusable absence: How Catholic schools reach Hispanic students

By Jeff Parrott | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article
Catholic schools have largely failed to attract Hispanic Catholics, but some parishes have found innovative ways to draw them in.

As her Puerto Rican immigrant mother had done with her as a child growing up in Chicago, Jennifer Bonesz sent both of her daughters to Catholic schools. Athena, 14, attended from preschool through eighth grade, and Damary, 8, from preschool through third grade.


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