MISSION and VISION
The Catholic Coalition for Immigrants and Refugees was formed in early 2017 as a means of gathering together members of the local Catholic community committed to making the Church a welcoming presence for newcomers to our country. This effort became particularly important in light of the unfortunately divisive social and political climate that exists today around the issues of immigration and refugee resettlement. In such an environment we must stand in clear solidarity with all our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. Our four-fold mission is:
- To advocate on behalf of all immigrants and refugees, particularly those working toward family reunification;
- To promote a culture of welcome and encounter in communities where immigrants and refugees choose to make their new homes;
- To unite the efforts of religious congregations, Catholic colleges and universities, parishes, and social service providers that work with, represent, or accompany immigrants and refugees;
- To create a broad network of volunteers and helping professionals who can offer support, assistance, and friendship for all newcomers to our area.
We envision a coalition of peoples and organizations with a shared commitment to welcome and befriend those who come to our country seeking a better life for them and their families. Together we are a stronger presence and more effective force for change, and so as concerned Catholics inspired by the Church’s social teaching, we look to speak with one voice and better coordinate our activities, services and resources. By convening and networking, we will empower individuals and organizations to amplify our positive impact upon the local immigrant and refugee communities, and raise awareness and compassion by educating the Catholic community about their plight and needs through a more effective witness of faith in action.
The Coalition holds a large assembly every three months, meeting four times throughout the year. In addition, subcommittees meet on their own and pursue activities pertinent to their specific area of concern. Members include representatives from concerned parishes and local Catholic universities, as well as religious congregations, and other non-profit organizations that provide Supportive Social Services, Legal Services, or engage in Advocacy and Education on immigration and refugee matters.
WHY WELCOME THE NEWCOMER?
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me; naked and you clothed me.”
The Gospel message of Jesus Christ inspires us to welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, feed the poor.
Today, over 65 million men women and children, many of them are Christians and Catholics, are fleeing oppression, poverty, torture, political unrest and war. Our response is to welcome refugees and provide them with the opportunity to live and flourish; free and unadulterated by the chains of dictators and despots.
WELCOMING THE POOREST AND MOST VULNERABLE
The Refugee Resettlement Program of Catholic Social Services if focusing on six of the world’s poorest and most dangerous nations.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo