Parishes Pray for Immigration Reform

The Alvizo Family spoke about their experience in the United States during the St. Patrick Parish prayer service.

Since April of 2013 the American Bishops have led an effort to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The hard work of Catholics throughout our country bore fruit in June of 2013 when the United States Senate passed a comprehensive bill that provides a path to citizenship and helps to reunite families.

In order to pray that the House of Representatives pass a similar bill prayer services were held at St. Patrick Parish in Lake Providence on Sunday, November 24, 2013 and at Sacred Heart Parish in Oak Grove on Wednesday, December 4, 2013.  The prayer services were entitled, “I Was A Stranger and You Welcomed Me.” Included in the prayer services were Scriptural Readings (Galatians 3:23-39, Psalm 18 and Luke 10:25-37); a homily, Intercessions, a witness by a Mexican American Family and a reflection by Bishop Michael Duca. Those who attended both learned the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning immigration reform and were encouraged to contact their member of the House of Representatives.

The USCCB is asking that the House pass a bill which includes the following: 1) economic and social development in Mexico and Latin America in order to address the root causes of migration, 2) an earned path to citizenship for the undocumented in this country, 3) an expanded legal means to reunite documented and undocumented family members, 4) a temporary worker program which protects both foreign and domestic workers and 5) due process reforms for those detained for lack of documentation as well as reforms which protect undocumented immigrants from being returned to countries with oppressive regimes.

The Republican members of the House of Representatives are now considering various principles which could be included in an immigration reform bill. Please pray that the House of Representatives pass immigration reform which includes the points listed above, especially provisions which include a path to citizenship and the reuniting of families. In order to be a part of this effort, call your representative, Vance McAllister 202-225-8490 or John Fleming 202-225-2777.

by Fr. Mark Watson, Pastor of St. Patrick Church in Lake Providence and Sacred Heart Church in Oak Grove

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