WASHINGTON--Catholic dioceses across the country will hold events about the need for immigration reform beginning September 8. The events are meant to highlight the urgency of the issue and to show Congress the broad support in the Catholic community for immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
"Now is the time for Catholics to let their elected officials know that they support immigration reform," said Archbishop José Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration. "We are an immigrant Church and an immigrant nation. The Church has grown with the nation and since the beginning has helped integrate immigrants into our culture and economy."
Archbishop Gomez added, "Right now, our immigration system is broken. As a result, families are being broken apart and millions of people, including children, are being hurt. We need immigration reform to help our nation live up to its beautiful promise of equality and dignity for all people."
Masses and events will be held in 22 states. Cities holding Masses and events the weekend of September 8 include Los Angeles; Brooklyn, New York; Chicago; San Francisco; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Tampa Bay, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; Cincinnati; St. Louis; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Miami; Hartford, Connecticut; Kansas City, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; Raleigh, North Carolina; Arlington, Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; Salt Lake City and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Other events during the two-month period include pilgrimages and educational events, such as public forums. Materials highlighting church teaching on immigration reform will be distributed in many dioceses. Bishops, diocesan officials and parish representatives also will be meeting with their House members to convey the Catholic Church's position on immigration reform. Additional Masses and events will be announced as information becomes available.