Monday, December 15, 2008

Minnesota's Catholic bishops declare 'Immigration Sunday' and urge warm welcome for newcomers

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Minnesota’s Catholic bishops will declare Jan. 4 to be "Immigration Sunday" and urge Catholics throughout the state to welcome newcomers.

Those are among the items to be announced Tuesday in a statement from the group on immigration. It comes two years after the Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid on the Swift plant in Worthington.

The group notes: "Anti-immigrant sentiment continues to divide communities throughout Minnesota and recent immigration raids have had a devastating impact on immigrant families and our rural communities. In the context of a new administration and new Congress, the Minnesota Catholic Bishops will release a joint statement calling for comprehensive immigration reform and strategies to reduce global poverty.

"Representatives of both the Minnesota and United States Conferences of Catholic Bishops will discuss the long-term fallout from the Swift raid and announce the launch of the statewide 'Immigration Sunday.' … The statewide celebration will serve as an opportunity for education and reflection in the Catholic community about biblical teachings on immigration and the reality faced by so many hardworking immigrant families and the need to fix our broken immigration system." MinnPost

6 comments:

georgette said...

Hey Ray!

Hope your Advent is going good, all holy and lovely. Interesting post here. I'm wondering what kind of immigrants are up in that frozen region of yours? the only ones that come to mind are the ones in the Garrison Keeler stories of Lake Woebegone--and they are generations past their original settling in the area, arent' they?

Keep warm. See ya at Terry's Ball-stravaganza! ;-D
God bless you, always!

Dan said...

Hmmm. I suppose it's hard to tell since the full statement hasn't been released yet, and leaving aside that discussion about welcoming immigrants being worthy, isn't Jan. 4 already designated as something important -- Epiphany?

Perhaps tomorrow we'll see some clever connection, but in general I don't favor re-tooling a Sunday that already has a purpose in the liturgical year.

Ray from MN said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Gette!

You'd be surprised about our immigrant population.

Forty years ago, this place was composed mostly of the offspring of northern European immigrants (German, Swedes, Norskies, Finns, etc.) with a smattering of Irish, WWII DP's (displaced persons) and a few others that got lost on their way to someplace else.

But in the latest immigrant wave, among others, Minnesota ended up with the largest populations of Somalis and Hmong in the entire country. A smattering of Vietnamese and Russian Jewish immigrants snuck in along with them. And of course, thousands of Latinos have moved up here looking for work.

Mildly interesting story on the Hmong immigration. Nobody really knew much about them but they were our major allies in the Vietnamese war and they had to leave Laos when we lost so many thousands immigrated.

A Lutheran parish agreed to sponsor a few dozen or so and nobody thought much about it.

It turned out that one of the Hmong in that bunch was a major tribal chieftain/leader. When word got out that he was hear, many thousands of Hmong left California where they originally had been settled so that they could be near their leader.

I'm not sure how it was that all the Somalis got here, but there is a whole raft of them and they all seem to be either driving cabs or running small businesses. Many are doing quite well for themselves. And they seem to be quite friendly.

It's supposed to be -18 tonight. This is the coldest December we have had in a very long time. Many of our Christmases in that time have been "brown." It will be interesting to see if the out emigration will begin if this cold weather lasts.

Ray from MN said...

Hi, Dan! Thanks for visiting. Cute kids!

I suspect that many of the people in charge of "welcoming immigrants" don't pay a lot of attention to Church Feast Days.

I agree with you about confusing people by "doubling up" events on major Feast Days.

Many homilies will be on the immigration situation, leaving the congregation ignorant as to what significance Epiphany has for Catholics and other Christians: The introduction of Jesus to the non-Jewish world. Jesus came to save all of us.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. See you at chant practice Dec 27.

gette said...

Ray,
Very interesting to know all that. I somehow didn't think you'd have too many Mexicans up there in teh frozen country, as tehy tend to stick around where the big farm work is, like here in NC. Interesting about the Hmong, too. We had a big group of them in New Orleans in the late 70s. They were very hard working people. Many were doctors and professors but couldn't get work doing that, so they took humble jobs, like grocery store clerks, etc. Most of them spoke french so they thought Louisiana would be a good choice. People there always liked them because they were such hard workers.

Merry Christmas, my friend!

Ray from MN said...

Some of our immigrant Mexicans work in slaughterhouse/packing plants. Some work in the canning plants in the summers for companies like Green Giant.

A lot of them have found jobs a lot of whites won't take.

But sum are finding it tough right now and are returning to Mexico, vowing never to return.

But there are a lot of Mexican owned businesses. My brother lives next to a Mexican couple in his nice suburb. The guy works as a cook in the morning for somebody else. Afternoons and evenings he runs a small taco shop/restaurant. The wife has a line on jewelry made in Mexico and she sells that wholesale to dealers. They are a hard working family.