Happy New Year!
The Year of Mercy has come to an end and given our ongoing mission of mercy we have some great resources here for continuing in that same spirit of accompaniment and what Pope Francis has called a “revolution of tenderness.” The following resources are available to aid in our parish organizing efforts around accompany the vulnerable.
- Mission of Mercy: Accompanying Immigrant Families
- As a Church, we are committed to protect, accompany, and advocate for and alongside our immigrant sisters and brothers. This brochure in English and Spanish (see in the box below) contains vital information to place in the hands of immigrant families as well as an important guide to help parishes be prepared to accompany immigrant families, sisters, and brothers, in light of potential changes to immigration policy under the new administration, including:
- How Parishes Can Be Prepared (e.g., here are a few initial steps)
- Hold listening circles/sessions
- Form a parish response team (if you don’t already have one)
- Connect with the Office of Life, Justice, and Peace for training, support on hosting events
- Hold know-your-rights workshops, study sessions on preparing a family plan, advocacy training
- Always include a faith reflection, sharing immigration stories. This is not simply information exchange but building encounter, solidarity, study together – the work of evangelization, the work of the Gospel!
- How Immigrant Families Can Be Prepared
- Beware fraud! Get trusted information.
- Develop family plan. Study together.
- Know your rights!
- Keep current on status of DACA and other immigration programs.
- Take the next steps to apply for any relief or permanent status that you might qualify for, especially citizenship!
- We are developing a more extensive resource in Spanish for immigrant families that will have much more information than was able to fit in this small brochure. We will make that available as soon as it is ready. The English Resource Booklet is available by clicking here.
- Human Trafficking Bookmark (English/Spanish)
- This simple but effective resource to educate parishioners about the signs of human trafficking and the hotline to call should suspicions arise. Knowing these signs and watching out for those around us could save a life! Please make these available. You are welcome to contact our office for the PDF of the file to make more copies.
- Help Cards (English/Spanish)
- This is an updated version of the resource for those struggling with a crisis pregnancy. Please make these available at the parish for those in need. These may also be used in conjunction with sidewalk advocacy. Please be aware of the many great agencies to whom we can refer those in need. Contact our office for more copies.
- Senior Care Magazines
- The Office of Pastoral Care for Families in All Stages has included copies of the Council on Aging Senior Resource Guide which provides contact information for agencies and organizations that can assist in healthcare support, housing alternatives, insurance information such as Medicare and MediCal counseling, community resources, and recreational services. The Council of Aging of Orange County was formed as a non-profit in 1973 to serve the needs of older adults and their families. Their goal is to assist seniors in living safer, more dignified and independent lives. If you need more copies, please contact Michael Donaldson (714) 282-4203, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Also, on January 20th, Inauguration Day, the Pastoral Center at Christ Cathedral welcomes Catholic Charities of Orange County’s Free Citizenship Workshop and Free Screenings. Please invite people to call for appointments.
And finally, on January 23rd, in observance of the Supreme Court Decision in Roe v. Wade, Bishop Vann invites all the Catholic community to join together in prayer for an end to abortion, healing for those involved in abortion, and an increased respect for all human life at the Mass for the Protection of Unborn Children. The Mass will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Arboretum at Christ Cathedral.
Thank you for all that you and your parishes do to accompany those in need and work for justice in your communities.
In Christ’s service,
Director, Office of Life, Justice & Peace