Postville, Iowa - On May 12, 2008, local police and federal immigration agents arrested 400 people at a meat-processing plant — a raid that disrupted hundreds of lives and changed this Iowa town. Ten years later, more than 300 people gathered at St. Bridget Church to mark the anniversary of the raid and to dedicate themselves to enacting change so similar raids do not happen again.
Paris - In 2003, 23 women religious congregations united to create Les Champs de Booz to help some of the most vulnerable refugees in France: single women who arrive on their own, fleeing a country where they are in danger. With a name inspired by the biblical story of Ruth and Boaz, the ministry helps the women acclimate to France and navigate the process of applying for asylum.
Amman, Jordan - A nurse from Sri Lanka, Salvatorian Sr. Theresa Perera spends weekdays helping migrant workers obtain the health care they need with Caritas Jordan and weekends planning gatherings and outings to ensure they have a bit of fun amid their busy work schedule.
In the time it takes you to read this article, about a hundred people around the world will be forced to leave their homes because of persecution, war or violence. In fact, more people are displaced now than at any other time in human history.
"We have to welcome the stranger, we have to welcome the migrants and welcome the refugees who are fleeing from such harrowing conditions in their own lands and also to care for our victims of domestic violence and the modern-day slavery of human trafficking."
A trip to the Big Apple and stops at some of the city's most significant historical sites, such as the Statue of Liberty, helped a group of missionary sisters currently serving immigrants in the United States gain a deeper appreciation of the struggles of the nation and its people.
Before she found herself uprooted, Sr. Cypriana Lyu and three other Charity Sisters of Jesus were just settling into their new mission in the village of Kerepi, South Sudan. They arrived in South Sudan in 2011, and after a few years of getting to know the community, they had just started building a secondary school for girls.
Comboni Missionary Sr. Azezet Kidane thought the worst part of the trauma for the Eritrean asylum seekers she counsels in Israel was already past. But the Eritreans in Tel Aviv, already struggling with poverty, isolation and discrimination, and some healing from torture, now face yet another hurdle: Netanyahu's aggressive and controversial plan to deport African asylum seekers. Deportation is set to begin within weeks.
The first conference on women religious to be held at the University of Notre Dame's Kylemore Abbey Global Centre in Ireland since it opened two years ago focused on the role of women religious in migrant education. On March 15 and 16, sisters working on the front lines in migrant education in places like Italy, the Philippines, Latin America and Nigeria exchanged information and testimonies with scholars who document sisters' work.
Sr. Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and a longtime advocate for immigrants and refugees, will receive the University of Notre Dame's 2018 Laetare Medal at the school's graduation ceremony May 20.
- Page 1