OLVM Sisters participate in vigil
By Erin Cox
8th Day Center representative for OLVM
On Monday March 19, OLVM Sisters and I joined members of the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants to participate in a powerful vigil in front of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago to stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters.
The vigil was held on the feast of St. Joseph, the Patron Saint of Immigrants, and served a visible reminder of the injustice that continues to face immigrants in the United States. Members of the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants peacefully held signs that read "education not deportation" and "detention rips families apart!" Over 30 members of the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants attended the vigil to provide a solemn and peaceful presence and remind passersby as well as those attending noon mass the importance of continuing to fight and pray for the rights of immigrants in our communities.
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|OLVM Sisters Leora Linnenkugel and Rose Ann Kaiser (above) joined with 8th Day representative Erin Cox (right) at an immigration vigil Monday, March 19, in front of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.|
In recent years, the struggle for the rights and dignity of immigrants in the United States has reached a crisis level. We have seen increased enforcement and targeting of immigrant communities given priority over just solutions. We have witnessed over a million people deported under the Obama administration, increased militarization of the border, and the criminalization of immigrant families through federal programs like "Secure Communities." Virulent anti-immigrant legislation continues to proliferate in different states across the country. On a daily basis, over 1,100 men and women are deported from the United States. These men and women are torn away from their family members and communities, treated as criminals and labeled as "illegal."
The OLVM Sisters continue to be committed members of Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, who acknowledge the dignity of each person and their basic rights. The mission of the sisters and brothers of immigrants is to act as a powerful, collective voice seeking justice for immigrants. In doing so, we respond to the Gospel mandate to honor the value of each person.
We must continue to act as committed allies for our immigrant brothers and sisters. The gospel calls us to "welcome the stranger" in our midst. In doing so, we must challenge institutions that create policies that break apart families, destroy communities, and detain and deport men, women and children. Until we can create immigration policies that are humane and recognize the driving forces of migration, we will continue to stand for the immigrants who live and work in our communities, the "strangers in our midst," as a response to the gospel call to love our neighbors.
The Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants will hold public witness in front of different Catholic Churches in Chicago on the forth Monday of each Month.