Lawsuits lining up over detention of families and children

GSR Today - Friday, Oct. 23 came and went without much fanfare, at least in the courtroom. That was the day that Judge Dolly Gee had given the U.S. government to be in compliance with her court order of July 24, 2015, regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s practice of detaining minors from Central America. But outside the courtroom, plenty has been going on.

Europe's women religious answer the call to help the growing refugee crisis

When Pope Francis made a special appeal in early September on behalf of refugees from Syria and the Middle East, Catholic communities all over Europe mobilized to do more to help. While bishops urged a generous attitude and Catholic charities stepped up their aid efforts, the continent's women religious also responded with offers of shelter and support. "Each religious congregation has its own charism and tradition and has had to think how it can best help," said Sr. Martina Salmaier, of the Franciscan Sisters of Vierzehnheiligen, Germany.

Pope Francis’ surprise call thanks sister for immigration ministry

She was bombarded with high-fives and hugs after she got the call — an invitation to meet Pope Francis during his Sept. 22-27 visit to the United States. But Sr. Norma Pimentel's biggest surprise came Monday, when the pope singled her out during a satellite video feed. Pimentel was present at a teleconference hosted at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas, where she coordinates ministries and services for immigrants. The pope's teleconference was recorded for ABC's "20/20" show, which airs Sept. 4. and includes participants in Los Angeles and Chicago.

In latest justice resolution, U.S. sisters recommit to ending family detention

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious membership on Friday morning voted to adopt a resolution that commits member congregations to addressing systemic causes of injustice. While the resolution itself is broad, the focus of the resolution presentation, unquestionably, was immigration and the detention of women and children seeking asylum.

Immigrant respite center responds to sudden increase

Released with nowhere to go, dozens of undocumented immigrants flooded a church respite center in McAllen, Texas, after the Border Patrol set them free without bus tickets in July. The facility added an extra tent to accommodate the numbers. “We have had upwards of 60 to 65 people spending the night over the last few weeks,” said Deb Boyce, volunteer group coordinator for Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. “Our numbers have almost doubled because they were being released without bus tickets. They had to stay overnight.”