National Immigration Week was January 5 -10. While the official week is over, the need for solidarity and action remains. Bishop Mario Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, called on all “to prayerfully unite and live out the Holy Father’s vision to welcome immigrants and refugees into our communities and to provide opportunities that will help them and all people of good will to thrive.” Response to that call is needed throughout the year, not just for one week.
Express Your Support for Refugee Resettlement in Georgia. On September 26, 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order 13888, which requires formal consent from a state governor and city mayor for continued refugee resettlement in Georgia. The written consent had been required by Friday, January 17. Governor Brian Kemp was one of a small handful of state governors who did not submit a consent. Nonetheless, a federal district court has issued an order prohibiting the implementation of this executive order. Thus, for the time being, the refugee resettlement program in Georgia can continue. It is still important to ask Governor Kemp to sign the necessary declaration. Email is the best way to contact the governor. The Catholic bishops of Georgia have written to Governor Kemp asking that he sign the declaration. For more information, click here.
Why (and How) Should We Advocate for Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees? The Jesuits have an answer. Put your own credibility on the line. See http://jesuitmigrantsolidarity.org/
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In addition, Saturday, February 8 is the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has designated that feast as a day of prayer and awareness of human trafficking, keeping in mind that migrants and refugees are particularly vulnerable to traffickers. Read more about how to honor this day here.
ICYMI – The Georgia General Assembly began its 2020 session on January 13. Please pray that legislators will act for the common good of everyone in Georgia and remember that the common good is not based on the desires of the majority. We must remember those on the margins. In theological terms, the common good is defined in Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Mater et Magistra (“On Christianity and Social Progress”) as “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.”