A Message from our Bishops: The Immigration Crisis
June 27, 2019
For many years there has been a growing national consensus that the U.S. immigration system is severely flawed and in need of a comprehensive overhaul. However, the continued stalemate on enacting comprehensive immigration reform has created a void filled by stopgap initiatives and a patchwork of state laws. Current mass-deportation efforts, as well as plans to reinforce our physical borders, are neither effective nor sustainable means of addressing this international humanitarian crisis. This disappointing reality continues to complicate efforts of law enforcement, sow discord in our communities, and harm vulnerable people.
The United States has both a right and a duty to protect our borders and our citizens. At the same time, our country has a responsibility to come to the aid of people who are fleeing danger and come here to build a better life for their families.
Worsening conditions that fuel the Latin American refugee crisis, combined with domestic policies that disrespect the dignity of human beings, risk causing even greater suffering for those fleeing peril and threaten the domestic tranquility promised to Americans.
As Catholics, we believe that each person, regardless of legal status, is a sister or brother in Jesus Christ. We are called to practice Christian charity and to protect and defend the dignity of every human person, especially the poor and most vulnerable based on the moral natural law. We must continue to strive for comprehensive immigration reform that honors the dignity of those seeking a better life in the United States, while also addressing the legitimate need for safe and secure borders.
For many decades, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been at the forefront of working for comprehensive immigration reform. United with all U.S. Bishops, the Bishops of Washington State continue to safeguard and maintain the well-being of those entrusted to our care. We encourage you to join in ongoing efforts to create a just and safe immigration system. Please visit WACatholics.org/immigration-support to learn what you can do to help or to donate to existing Catholic charitable efforts that support immigrant families at the border.
In Christ, The Catholic Bishops of Washington State
CULTURES UNITED SOCCER FESTIVAL
“We belong to each other”
The “Pitch for Hope” initiative, a joint project of the World Jewish Congress and the Chelsea Football Club, is bringing an opportunity to Tacoma, WA that will create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and multicultural celebration through a brand new annual event: Cultures United! This event is set to be hosted at the South End Recreational Area on August 24th & 25th, 2019. The main attraction will be a friendly soccer tournament, available for FREE to all interested youth and young adult teams. To complement the soccer tournament there will be a cultural festival to celebrate the many cultures and faiths in our region, a way to combat racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and antisemitism. Please register a soccer team today! And please join us at the event, an opportunity to encounter your neighbor!
PLEASE SUPPORT SEAFARER’S MINISTRY!!
SAVE THE DATE: Shipboard Luncheon – Saturday, September 7th, 2019
10:15 AM to 2:00 PM aboard the Holland America Eurodam cruise ship!
Seafarer’s Ministry is a hidden ministry serving ship workers who arrive at our ports from every country imaginable. They arrive on both container and cruise ships and, while at port, they need some love from our local Catholic community. Seafarer’s are at sea and away from their families for 9+ months out of the year. They are often lonely and in need of listening, transportation, and opportunities to connect with their loved ones back home. Our staff and volunteers care for seafarers by serving as ship visitors, driving them to various locations to shop, creating care packages known as “ditty bags” to express our affection, and providing them hospitality at our Seafarer’s Center located in West Seattle. Please attend our luncheon to support this ministry – and to encounter the very people we are seeking to serve!
MENTAL HEALTH MINISTRY
There are some incredible events coming up in the next few months in the area of mental health:
October 7-9th The 5th Annual Mustard See Project, Loyola Chicago –Focus Topic: Mental Wellness in Catholic Schools MSP 19 SAVE THE DATE
October 19th – Cornerstone Catholic Conference, Tacoma – workshop on Mental Health
October 29th – 3rd Annual Washington State Mental Health Summit, Seattle – University of Washington, The HUB
Please let us know if your parish or school is interested in hosting a Mental Health First Aid Training.
Monthly Immigrant & Refugee Network Gathering
This is an open meeting. Every Second Thursday of each month from 1-3 PM at St. James Cathedral
We meet in the Cathedral Place building across from O’Dea High School.
Next meeting: Thursday, July 11th
- All those working on immigrant & refugee matters in their respective parishes, schools, agencies, and lives are invited to attend.
- Network meetings typically include an update on current events from St. James Immigrant Assistance and/or the Washington State Catholic Conference
- Attendees have an opportunity to report on their respective immigrant & refugee support activities and network with other workers in the vineyard.
- Please join us and let’s build the Kingdom of God together – for all God’s children.
News from AIDNW: Serving immigrant detainees in Tacoma
Please help us spread the word about a special event on Saturday, July 27th at 1:00 pm, at Peace Lutheran Church, 2106 S. Cushman Ave., Tacoma 98405
The Detention Lottery is an interactive dramatization of the immigration detention process and courtroom proceedings, presented by a group of Seattle immigration attorneys. It will be hosted by Peace Lutheran Church in support of AIDNW. There is no admission charge, though donations to AIDNW will be encouraged. The performance begins at 1:00 pm, but plan to come early for home-cooked Cajun food, available from 12 noon – 4 pm at $10 a plate, a portion of which benefits AIDNW. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we have some indication of how many people to plan for.
- Bilingual visitation volunteers – visit detainees at detention center
- Transportation volunteers – Take our guest from hospitality house to various appointments
- Fundraising volunteers and committee members – Help with organizing events
- Speakers Bureau – Share your talent by speaking at events
See www.aidnw.org for more information on programs
- Safeway or Fred Meyer Grocery Cards
- NEW Men’s and Women’s underwear
- Travel-size Deodorant
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
As the seasons change our Amazon Wish List below has been updated with current needs for the Welcome Center and the Hospitality House. They include LIGHTER WEIGHT CLOTHING, toiletries, snacks and English Language books. Click HERE for Wish List! All donations can be delivered directly via the Amazon Wish List. Also, volunteers are scheduled to receive other donations at the Hospitality House at 1915 S. Sheridan St. Tacoma on Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 pm (only those days and times please).
Thank you for your continued generosity!