Category Archives: Catholic Relief Services

Radical Love

Press Conference ISD

Hello, my name is Kayla Jacobs. I am the Relief and Development Coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Joliet’s Justice & Peace Ministry in the Office for Human Dignity.

We are here in partnership with our fellow people of faith and Immigrant Solidarity DuPage and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the border waiting to enter the US, people enroute to the US, and migrants everywhere.

While the issue at our southern border has been highly politicized our response is simple, Human Dignity is above all and love of God and neighbor is our priority.

Over the past several months we have been able to engage our parishioners in this caravan project and the turnout has not been a disappointment. Many of our parishes and universities have collected items for our asylum seeking brothers and sisters. We are grateful for the opportunity to do practical hospitality at the border by providing material and humanitarian needs for respite centers but most importantly we are grateful for the opportunity to show our brothers and sisters that they are welcomed here in this country. We are also grateful to show our parishioners and individuals who have donated that their actions make a difference in the lives of others.

On January 20th the US Bishops released a statement regarding immigration. In the statement they noted their opposition to a border wall and any changes to current law that would make it more difficult for unaccompanied children and asylum seekers to access protection and they end it with the hope that a conclusion is made that would show compassion, safety, and protection for the vulnerable.

Last week I attended the Bishop’s annual Peace and Justice conference with about 500 other advocates. Our Diocese, the Diocese of Joliet, which includes DuPage county had the most amount of participants out of the whole country. While we were there we advocated for the permanent protection of DREAMERS and TPS holders but NOT at the cost of other protected populations such as Asylum seekers, which some politicians have suggested. We, as a Church, are unwilling, to negotiate one protected population for another. Our reasoning again, is simple, the book of John, John 10:10.  states: “Christ came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” All who seek a life of basic human rights should be granted the opportunity to actually seek it out.

In conclusion, I would like to wish our legislators a happy valentines day and invite them to love thy neighbor.

Thank you.

Mary Shows Us the Way to Heaven

AnnemariePic
by Annemarie Coman, Diocese of Joliet’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development Intern

Happy Feast of the Assumption! Today as we celebrate Mary’s entrance into heaven, let’s reflect on how we can learn from the Blessed Mother to follow the call of social justice in our own lives. Mary’s life reveals to us the importance of social justice through her witness of charity to those in need, through her position as one in need, and through her role as a mother.

Mary lived out charity in action when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth to help with her pregnancy. Who do we know that might need a visit or an extra hand while pregnant? What can we do to assist women in crisis pregnancies, either through prayer or action? Mary lived out the work of mercy of giving drink to the thirsty when she had pity on the couple at the Wedding Feast of Cana who were running out of wine and asked Jesus to perform his first miracle, transforming water into wine. Can we volunteer at a food pantry, or donate food or drink to those that are lacking? Mary forgave offences and bore wrongs patiently as she watched her son be unjustly crucified. Where in our lives do we need to sow seeds of forgiveness and patience? Mary herself experienced the difficulties of a refugee as she and her family fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s plans. How can we stand in solidarity and work to support refugees, immigrants, and victims of human trafficking?

In living out her role as a loving mother to Jesus and now as a mother to all of us, Mary teaches us the importance of living out our role in our families. Mother Teresa gives us a powerful reminder, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” Mary was a shining witness of love in the family, who do we know in our own homes or families that may need some extra love? Let us follow the example of Mary and work today to be a source of love to all we meet. For more ideas on how to do this, see the list of the works of mercy below. As we strive to live out the works of mercy and take action for social justice, let us ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother. Mary, Queen of Mercy, pray for us!

                                                  Works of Mercy

Corporal Works of Mercy                                   Spiritual Works of Mercy

1. Feed the hungry                                               1. Counsel the doubtful

2. Give drink to the thirsty                                 2. Instruct the ignorant

3. Clothe the naked                                              3. Admonish sinners

4. Shelter the homeless                                       4. Comfort the afflicted

5. Visit the sick                                                      5. Forgive offences

6. Visit the imprisoned                                        6. Bear wrongs patiently

7. Bury the dead                                                   7. Pray for the living and the dead