Catholic shelters help migrants into U.S. amid immigration controversy

.- Many Catholics and Catholic organizations are assisting migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border in their search for work, Reuters reports.

A Catholic-run shelter in Nuevo Laredo, just south of the border with Laredo, Texas, hosts dozens of Latin American migrants, providing them meals and rest before they attempt to cross into the United States by swimming the Rio Grande.  At the shelter the migrants, some from as far away as Central America, replace worn-out clothing, heal their injuries, and telephone relatives for cash for their crossing.

Without the shelters, migrants would have to beg for food and would sleep in the streets or in the harsh conditions of the desert.

"I'm extremely grateful for this shelter, but even without it, I would still try to get across," said 19-year-old Guatemalan coffee picker Raul Mintis, who was staying at the Nazareth shelter.

"Migration is a human right and migrants are some of the world's most vulnerable people. It is the church's obligation to help them," said the Rev. Francisco Pellizzari, an Italian-Argentine missionary who runs the Nazareth migrant shelter in Nuevo Laredo.  The shelter itself displays a Vatican certificate announcing that it has been granted a papal blessing.

The Nazareth shelter is just one in a network of similar aid stations along the border.

Many Catholic churches in the United States have seen their congregations double in size after an influx of Hispanic migrants.  The parishes offer soup kitchens and support to families affected by workplace raids and deportations.

As immigration becomes an issue in the U.S. presidential election, political objections are arising from religious conservatives critical of Catholic action.

Some immigration opponents are angry that the Catholic Church helps lawbreakers who are in the country illegally.  Others claim the Church is using immigration to increase its membership and attract those Catholics who have left for evangelicalism or secularism.

"The Roman Catholic Church is aiding and abetting the criminal invasion of America from Mexico," wrote Ralph Ovadal, pastor of the Pilgrims Covenant Church in Wisconsin, in a booklet sold on the church's Web site.

Church leaders say they are doing nothing wrong and are merely alleviating the burdens caused by poor U.S. immigration policy and high-unemployment economic policies of Latin America.

"While the governments of the United States and Latin America fail to provide workable policies, the church will do what it must to help the migrant," said Rafael Romo, archbishop of the border town Tijuana. "We can't let these people be treated like animals."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: