"Adam, where are you?" "Where is your brother?" These are the two questions which God asks at the dawn of human history, and which he also asks each man and woman in our own day, which he also asks us. But I would like us to ask a third question: "Has any one of us wept because of this situation and others like it?" Has any one of us grieved for the death of these brothers and sisters? Has any one of us wept for these persons who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who were looking for a means of supporting their families? We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion – "suffering with" others: the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! In the Gospel we have heard the crying, the wailing, the great lamentation: "Rachel weeps for her children… because they are no more". Herod sowed death to protect his own comfort, his own soap bubble. And so it continues… Let us ask the Lord to remove the part of Herod that lurks in our hearts; let us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference, to weep over the cruelty of our world, of our own hearts, and of all those who in anonymity make social and economic decisions which open the door to tragic situations like this. "Has any one wept?" Today has anyone wept in our world?" -- Pope Francis, Mass at Lampedusa, July 8, 2013
CCST Migration, or the Metuchen Diocese Justice for Immigrants, was formed in 2005 in response to the growing Catholic drive for comprehensive immigration reform. Our experiences in Guatemala and our work with local CCHD grant recipients who advocate for immigrants have broadened our perspective on the issue.
We focus on three areas:
- educating Catholics about immigration issues. Increasingly, our volunteers are asked to speak at parish events or to groups about the Catholic Church's position on comprehensive immigration reform.
- advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. Taking our lead from the national Justice for Immigrants campaign, we have led postcard campaigns, joined rallies in New Jersey and Washington, DC, written opinion pieces expressing the Church's position on immigration, and other activities.
- assisting at-risk populations with direct services. We have conducted raid awareness workshops and refer individuals to Catholic Charities Immigration Service offices in Perth Amboy (271 Smith Street) and New Brunswick (56 Throop Avenue) and St. Peter and James Church, Phillipsburg.
CCST is also looking at best responses to the current phenomenon of unaccompanied minor migrants crossing borders. For USCCB background, CLICK HERE.
"It is necessary to respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation, in such a way as to make the conditions of migrants more humane. At the same time, greater efforts are needed to guarantee the easing of conditions, often brought about by war or famine, which compel whole peoples to leave their native countries. Solidarity with migrants and refugees must be accompanied by the courage and creativity necessary to develop, on a world-wide level, a more just and equitable financial and economic order, as well as an increasing commitment to peace, the indispensable condition for all authentic progress."-Pope Francis, Message for 2015 World Day of Migrants and Refugees,Sept. 3, 2014