Cabrini University celebrated Mother Cabrini’s 171st birthday in traditional fashion with cake, candles and ice cream.
Mother Cabrini’s 171st birthday was celebrated with great joy last Saturday at St. Frances X. Cabrini Shrine in Upper Manhattan. Joining us were a dozen Missionary Sisters, several lay collaborators from Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC and Dobbs Ferry, and hundreds of faithful families and friends. We had Mass with Bishop Gerald Walsh (English) and Bishop Josu Iriondo (Spanish), cake, mariachi, activities for kids, and a very, very good time.
~ by Melissa Cedillo, National Catholic Reporter
Early on in the pandemic, Monica Ruiz-Caraballo of Casa San Jose in Pittsburgh knew responding to COVID-19 was going to look different for her community.
“We work with primarily undocumented people who do not qualify for a stimulus check or unemployment benefits,” she explained during a July 14 webinar hosted by the Center for Migration Studies of New York, a non-profit that studies domestic and international immigration issues.
The webinar focused on how Catholic organizations serving immigrant communities in the U.S. adapted during Donald Trump’s administration and the beginning of the pandemic.
The report found that immigrant communities faced difficulties in accessing online services during lockdown periods due to poor internet connection, limited computer access and a lack of communications technology and training.
Alfonso Lara, Director of Centro San Juan Diego of the Denver Archdiocese noted that much of the country’s essential workforce relies on labor from immigrant communities.
“Many of our people are construction workers or domestic workers. They could not stay home or help their kids figure out how to use technology,” said Lara.
The migration center report found that Catholic organizations across the country set up resources to mitigate the blow of the pandemic for immigrant communities, but a looming fear of the previous administration’s immigration enforcement policies prevented immigrants from accessing those services.
During the webinar, a new challenge for immigrant and refugee communities was address: vaccines. Lara said that a lot of people in the Spanish speaking community do not want to get the vaccine because some immigrants believe they can get deported for getting the vaccine which she attributes to misinformation about who is eligible to receive it. To read the full article please click here
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Catholic immigration advocates are urging Congress and President Joe Biden to speed up legislation to protect immigrants after a federal judge ruled July 16 to end a program that prevents the deportation of thousands of immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as children. These groups immediately took to social media to respond to the decision by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who said the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was illegal.
His ruling, which plaintiffs plan to appeal, bars the government from approving any new applications to the program but leaves it open for current participants. The decision means that “tens of thousands of people who applied but had their initial cases stuck in limbo due to crisis-level processing delays…will not receive life-altering protection from deportation or stability, security, opportunity,” tweeted Lisa Parisio, Director of Advocacy for Catholic Legal Immigration Network or CLINIC.
Hanen ruled in favor of Texas and eight other states that filed suit in 2018 against DACA on the ground that former President Obama, who created the program by executive order in 2012, did not have the authority to do so because he bypassed Congress. The states that joined Texas in the lawsuit – Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia – also said the program has been a financial strain.
DACA has enabled about 700,000 qualifying young people, described as Dreamers to work, go to college, get health insurance, a driver’s license and not face deportation.
Just last year, the Supreme Court ruled against efforts by the Trump administration to end the program, saying the actions taken to rescind it had been “arbitrary and capricious.” A federal judge at the end of last year ordered the Trump administration to fully restore DACA.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the USCCB urged President Trump to “strongly reconsider terminating DACA” and they also urged U.S. senators to “ immediately pass legislation that provides a path to citizenship” for Dreamers, stressing that this kid of “permanent legislative protection” is long overdue.
Advocates had similar pleas right after Hanen’s ruling.
“Texas does not have the right to dictate federal immigration policy or to upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients. Congress and the President must act decisively and swiftly to enact lasting protections for Dreamers, including a pathway to citizenship, tweeted Hope Border Institute.
Similarly, the Cabrini Immigrant Services of New York tweeted, “We demand that Congress and @POTUS take immediate action to provide a pathway to citizenship. We cannot wait any longer. There are NO excuses.”
Biden pledged to protect DACA in his presidential campaign, and he has since proposed legislation that would provide immigrants with a pathway to citizenship. DACA supporters have long insisted that it’s up to Congress to pass legislation that would provide Dreamers with permanent relief.
Hanen similarly indicated that Congress needs to step in. When he rejected Texas’ request in 2018 to end DACA through a preliminary injunction, he wrote at the time: “If the nation truly wants to have a DACA program, it is up to Congress to say so.” To access the full article click here
~ by Cindy Wooden, Catholic New Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Sunday, July 25th will be the first celebration of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
Try a little tenderness. That’s basically how Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell summarized Pope Francis’ vision for what older people, their grandchildren and friends should do to change the world after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vatican as a whole is making a big deal out of the world day. The action focus is all about tenderness, too: Visit your grandparents and any older person living alone. Offer them a ride to mass. Take them a bouquet of flowers. And, for those who cannot go to church, take them the Eucharist.
Calling Catholics around the world to mark the day after “dramatic months of difficulty.” Pope Francis invites people to embrace tenderness, especially toward the elderly, who suffered so much during the pandemic.
The day is also about “the tenderness that grandparents show toward their grandchildren, especially in a time like the one we are living in, in which personal interaction has become rare.”
Cardinal Farrell said, “Tenderness is not just a private feeling, one that soothes wounds, but, a way of relating to others, which should be experienced in public. We have become accustomed to living alone, to not hugging each other, to considering the other as a threat to our health. Our societies, the Pope tells us in ‘Fratelli Tutti,” are now fragmented.”
“Tenderness has a social value, the Cardinal insisted. “It is a remedy we all need, and our elderly are those who can provide it.. In a frayed and hardened society emerging from the pandemic, not only is there a need for vaccines and economic recovery – albeit fundamental – but also for relearning the art of relationships. In this, grandparents and the elderly can be our teachers. This is also why they are so important.” To read the complete article, please click here
And so it was that last Saturday, with a spring in our step and prayerful intentions in mind, we exited the F train at Carroll Street in Brooklyn and began our journey back in time.
We were focused on visiting 580 Henry Street, the old convent, where a few of us spent many happy, fun filled years teaching and serving the immigrants in this Italian community. We stood in front of 580 Henry Street, a beautiful brownstone, and looked up at the four floors above us and remembered. The first floor was the chapel; second floor the community room; third and fourth floors were the bedrooms. We laughed at how often we climbed the winding stairs and marveled at how some of the bedrooms had a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty. We wondered how all twenty-two Sisters could possibly squeeze into the small chapel.
On we trudged to our local parish, Sacred Hearts and St. Stephens, on the corner of Summit and Hicks Streets. “Wow”, we said in unison. “The church looks the same.” Statues of saints lined the sides of the church and red, votive candles flickered where fervent parishioners prayed that a special grace be granted to them. The windows were stained glass, one of them of Mother Cabrini in a place of honor toward the front of the church. This Italian community of Carroll Gardens has a special devotion to Mother Cabrini who walked these same streets, meeting and greeting newly arrived Italian immigrants, decades ago. We could almost feel Mother’s presence.
In addition to the treasures inside the church, we were fortunate to be able to admire the newly dedicated statue of Mother Cabrini, sitting right outside. Mother is with two young children, a boy and a girl and she seems content in their presence. We placed some flowers at Mother’s feet, took pictures and spent a moment or two in silent prayer
before we moved on.
This time we moved on down Henry Street toward Sackett Street, hoping to find a place to sit in the shade and eat something refreshing. Even walking these few blocks was a trip down memory lane. So many of the old brownstones looked the same, but in between these buildings we could spot some new construction that appeared very modern, almost out of place. And surprisingly, the streets were quiet for a Saturday afternoon.
Finally, we spotted an eatery, just what we were looking for. Farmacy is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor on the corner of Henry and Sackett Streets. We had to sit outside because sections inside were closed off because of Covid restrictions. Nonetheless, the outside was delightfully, cool and a perfect spot for enjoying hot dogs and ice cream sundaes topped with whipped cream and a cherry. “Ah”, we said.
The hours flew by and we each had a long trip home. So, off we went heading back toward the Carroll Street subway station and the F train. We admired the lovely brownstones and colorful gardens. And the stoops! Where else can you find stoops like these? We agreed, Carroll Gardens is a special place.
As we said good-bye to one another, Sister Christine Marie, Anne, Marilyn, Michael, Kate and I, we agreed that the day was perfect and we planned to make this pilgrimage a yearly, tradition.
~submitted by Marianne McGowan, CLM
On June 30, 2021, St. Cabrini Nursing Home held a blessing ceremony to mark the completed renovation of the therapeutic dementia garden. This renovation was made possible thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Field Hall Foundation. The grant was originally awarded in July of 2019 but renovations were halted in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of the therapeutic recreation dementia garden is aimed at improving the quality of life for residents with Alzheimer’s/dementia who live at the nursing home or who utilize the dementia unit for respite. Due to safety reasons, most of the residents on this particular unit rarely get to go outside freely and unencumbered. Studies have shown that gardens designed for residents with dementia are an effective, non-pharmalogical intervention that reduces dementia symptoms, improves quality of life, enhances family interactions with loved ones and increases family and staff satisfaction.
With the funds from the grant, a drip irrigation system for all planting areas was installed, durable but stylish furniture was purchased and beautiful perennials were added to the landscape. Another highlight of the garden are the garden beds that residents can utilize to plant flowers and tend to them while they are enjoying a breath of fresh air, a ray of sunshine and the melodious sounds of birds flying overhead.
During the blessing ceremony, Cabrini of Westchester’s Vice-President of Operations and Administrator Bonita Burke stated:
“Cabrini is honored to have been the recipient of the $20,000 grant from the Field Hall Foundation. The funds are so appreciated, and have enhanced the lives of the residents living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The update to the garden is especially significant for the residents after experiencing feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression that were heightened due to the Covid-19 virus this past year. We are extremely grateful to have the support of the Field Hall Foundation.”
In collaboration with their sponsored ministries, the Guadalupe Province Immigration Commission is sponsoring a program of writing and sending postcards to refugee children. Communities of the Missionary Sisters along with their lay collaborators have spent time with pens, markers, crayons and stickers decorating postcards with messages of hope, comfort and love that will be sent to and distributed by the Jesuit Refugee Service to a refugee child overseas.
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) works in more than 55 countries worldwide, having helped over 677,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
~ by Lucy Grindon, National Catholic Reporter
Four Catholic Charities branches and three Catholic legal organizations have signed onto a letter urging top U.S. immigration officials to address the concerns of Special Immigrant Juvenile, or SIJ status holders who remain at risk of deportation despite their eligibility to apply for green cards.
Special Immigrant Juvenile status was created by Congress in 1990 to help young people who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by one or both of their parents, said Anthony Enriquez, who directs the Unaccompanied Minors Program within the Catholic Charities of New York’s Immigrant and Refugee Services office. The status, which must be determined by a family court, is also sometimes granted to orphans.
Those with Special Immigrant Juvenile status are eligible to apply for green cards, but because Congress classifies SIJ-based green cards as employment-based immigrant visas, these green cards are subject to country caps on employment-based immigrant visas. (This is in spite of the fact that many children who hold SIJ status are not nearly old enough to work.) Because of these caps and the backlog they have created, SIJ status holders now have to wait years before they can submit their green card applications.
“Clearly, Congress intended this to be a fast-acting immigration benefit for exceptionally vulnerable young people, and unfortunately, because a large number of young people have come from difficult circumstances, there are a large number of people…whose suffering is prolonged. Besides facing the threat of deportation, SIJ status holds cannot work legally, receive federal student financial aid or get married, despite being eligible to become U.S. lawful permanent residents,” said Enriquez.
“This work is so important because we’re really working with young people who have come from the most difficult of circumstances. When young people quality for special immigration status, they’ve been deprived of that parent-child connection: they’ve often had to parent themselves,” said Enriquez.
“They have shown a strength of character and resiliency that many of us will never have to exhibit in our lives because we have been blessed to have a family that cares for us,” Enriquez said of his team’s clients. “We really believe that young immigrants are the future of our communities and of our country, and if we can have a small part in helping make that future better then it’s an honor and a privilege to do so. To read the complete article, please click here
~ by Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service
(CNS) – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency involved in deportations and other immigration-related detention proceedings, announced on July 9 it would not detain, arrest or take into custody pregnant or nursing migrants for violating immigration laws except in exceptional circumstances.
This includes women who have given birth with a year, the agency said, adding it was doing so “in recognition of the time needed for infant development and parental bonding.”
“ICE is committed to safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system and preserving the health and safety of pregnant, postpartum and nursing individuals,” said Tae D. Johnson, acting ICE director. “This reflects our commitment to treat all individuals with respect and dignity while still enforcing our nation’s laws.” To read the full account, please click here