In 2017, Pope Francis launched Share the Journey, and the Jesuits simultaneously launched the Campaign for Hospitality, two efforts collaboratively focused on welcoming migrants and refugees. Bellarmine responded by creating our Immigration Team. This Team builds relationships with the migrant community, educates to change the narrative surrounding immigrants, and advocates for comprehensive immigration reform founded on the dignity and worth of every individual.
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34
In a word, it is not only the cause of migrants that is at stake; it is not just about them, but about all of us, and about the present and future of the human family. – Pope Francis Message for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Catholic Social Teaching invites us to consider solidarity, recognizing that we are all sisters and brothers in the Body of Christ, a single human family. The Jesuits, in establishing their 2019-2029 Universal Apostolic Preferences, reiterate this concern for solidarity through UAP 2, Walking with the Excluded.
The parish has hosted a family of asylum-seekers from El Salvador since 2017 as part of an ongoing effort to build relationships with migrant families. You can read an article about our experience here. Here is a video of them sharing some of their experiences since coming to the United States.
Parishioners also volunteer regularly with Casa de Paz, one of our Service and Solidarity Teams.
As part of our ongoing education efforts, we have hosted an annual Share the Journey concert featuring diverse musicians from across the country. We also make regular immersion trips to the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, AZ. You can watch a video from one such trip here.
Lastly, we advocate with local and national organizations like the Ignatian Solidarity Network to advance immigration reform.