Category Archives: JPIC

Stop Family Separation

A Statement from Bishop Gregory L. Parkes
The ongoing practice of separating children from their parents has already, as of May, left nearly 2000 children separated from their parents.  As Bishop Parkes reminds us, as a nation and people of faith, we can and must do better.

FIVE WAYS TO HELP STOP FAMILY SEPARATION
  1. Pray: You can find a prayer for migrant children here. On Wednesday, June 20th, 2018, at 8:00 p.m., we will show our solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters by praying together during a special Mass followed by a prayer service at San Jose Mission in Dover. We invite all to attend. If you cannot join us in person, please join us spiritually in prayer. Remember, we are called to live courageously by standing up for ALL vulnerable populations – the unborn, the disabled, the elderly, the imprisoned, the immigrant, and the refugee.
  2. Speak Up: Sign our Action Alert and share with your networks. Also consider contacting your senators and representative directly by phone to voice your concern. You can find the number for your representative here and your senators here.
  3. Take Action: Contact your local Catholic Charities affiliate to learn about their material/volunteer needs, consider fostering an unaccompanied child, or join the Share the Journey global solidarity campaign with migrants and refugees.
  4. Give: Support agencies that are helping families and children impacted by the crisis. (100% of your donation will go to the 21 Catholic Charities agencies assisting unaccompanied children.)
  5. Learn More: To learn more about Family Separation, visit the Justice for Immigrants (JFI) ”Family Separation Webpage” to review backgrounders, educational material, and a webinar.

Info adapted from Catholic Charities USA’s website.

U.S. Bishops Urge National Leaders to Address Scourge of Gun Violence

For many years, the USCCB has supported a federal ban on assault weapons, limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines, further criminalizing gun trafficking, certain limitations on the purchase of handguns, and safety measures such as locks that prevent children and anyone other than the owner from using guns without permission.

In the aftermath of the tragic attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, Chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, once again urge national leaders to finally come together and address the crisis of gun violence in a comprehensive way. Their comments are below:

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Your Voice is Needed

Please participate in the Call-in Day to Congress on Monday, February 26th.
Your advocacy is critical to help the nearly 1.8 million Dreamers, young people who were brought into the United States by their parents as children. They may face deportation as soon as March 6, unless Congress reaches a bi-partisan deal to protect them. Bishop Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg and your own Franciscan Friars urge you to be part of this “call to action.”

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Franciscan Statement at the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade


As Franciscans, our approach to social issues is always to seek deep solidarity with those who are vulnerable or on the margins of society. This stance was embodied by our founder, St. Francis of Assisi, who ignored the norms of his society and made direct encounter with the most despised and vulnerable of his time a priority. When we embrace our world, we seek to repair broken relations that lead to a variety of social issues and maladies: turning away the stranger/the immigrant; the challenge of climate change; lack of care for the elderly and disabled – both physically and mentally; a dis-ease with the dying process; the death penalty; and, as we mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, a particularly tragic one, abortion. Our approach is in line with the leadership of the Catholic church in that we utilize the rubric of the consistent ethic of life.

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U.S. Franciscans Statement on Charlottesville Violence

As followers of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of peace, we, the Franciscans Friars of the United States join with the many public and religious leaders and fellow-citizens who have condemned the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA.

We hold that all forms of racism, white supremacy, neo-nazism, xenophobia and hatred are wrong.

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Franciscan Statement on the Recent Executive Orders

Syrian-Refugees-US-borderIn flurry of activity, President Trump issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” (you can read the full text here). The key points of the Executive Order are:

  • 90-day ban on entry into the US from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan
  • 120-day suspension of the refugee resettlement program
  • Indefinite suspension of the arrival of Syrian refugees
  • 64% decrease for refugees admitted into the US in 2017
  • Prioritization of refugees who are religious minorities suffering religious persecution
  • Mandated review of stricter vetting procedures for refugees and immigrants.

The Franciscan OFM friars of the United States have issued a joint Franciscan Statement on the Immigration Ban:

“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25.35).

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