Welcoming newcomers is an Act of Love

vigneronAllen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, issued a statement on January 28 affirming his opposition to faith-based restrictions to immigration and expressing his support for and solidarity with Muslim leaders in Southeast Michigan.  In response, the co-chair of the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council, Imam Steve Elturk, has thanked the archbishop and the entire Detroit archdiocese “…for standing by the Muslims during such trying times.”

Archbishop Vigneron wrote …

“Dear Friends,

I wrote to you a little over a year ago to share with you my statement to the priests of our Archdiocese regarding a proposal made during the presidential campaign to restrict Muslim immigration to the United States.  At that time, I reaffirmed my commitment to stand with you in opposing any and all unjust discrimination on the basis of religion.

Today, I reaffirm that pledge.

Now that a federal government restriction has been placed upon refugees from mainly Muslim countries, I want to bring to your attention, and affirm my solidarity with, a January 27 statement made in Washington, D.C., by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Stating strong disagreement with the Executive Order, the bishops say “We believe in assisting all those who are vulnerable and fleeing persecution, regardless of their religion… welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope.”  Additionally, I call to your attention to a December 9, 2016 statement given by me: “We stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters.”

Please know that the Catholic community will continue to speak out and care for immigrants and refugees, no matter their religion or their country of origin.  As I said in my statement last month: “Our local community in metro-Detroit is much richer for the contributions of our brothers and sisters from Mexico and El Salvador, from India and Pakistan, from Iraq and Syria, from China and Korea, from Ukraine and Poland, from Cameroon and Nigeria.”

Let us continue to stand together for the common good here in metro-Detroit.

Sincerely yours,

Allen H. Vigneron

Archbishop of Detroit”

Sisters Home Visitors of Mary have since their inception advocated for newly arriving individuals without regard to race or origin, setting aside the sometimes-all-to-popular prejudices of the current day, knowing that God’s Love includes all people including strangers and migrants and refugees.  (See Sr. Rosemarie’s Christmas message.)

Might you volunteer?

The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center is one organization serving migrants in our very diverse metro Detroit area. SWIRC seeks volunteers to assist with the pro bono legal services they provide.  Volunteers are needed for translation and preparation of cases.   Contact Sr. Rosemarie to see how you might help care for our brothers and sisters seeking life.

Might your parish organization in southeast MI be interested in an educational reflection on immigration?  Contact Sr. Rosemarie for details.

Check out US Conference of Catholic Bishops or Latin American Working Group for other news on immigration issues.