70 Catholics arrested in D.C. protesting U.S. border policy

Catholic leaders and advocates lay on the floor of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington July 18, 2019, to protest the Trump administration's handling of detained immigrant children. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A few hundred Catholic activists, including dozens of women religious, gathered outside at the foot of the U.S. Capitol July 18 urging politicians to stop its "inhumane treatment" of immigrant children at the border and reminding people of faith to take a stronger stand against current U.S. border policies.

The rally, on a sweltering Washington morning, included times of prayer, a few songs and several speeches. At one point, someone in the crowd started chanting, "Where are the bishops?" which was echoed by many participants, but later in the program, speakers read excerpts from messages that had been sent to the group from several U.S. bishops, thanking them for participating and urging them to continue to speak up about the border crisis.

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A message from Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego said in part: "We stand in a moment when our government has weaponized fear -- the fear being sown within our nation as a whole that refugees and immigrants, who have been America's historic lifeblood, have now become the enemy; and the even more reprehensible fear being unleashed upon the hearts and souls of immigrant mothers and fathers that they will be separated from their children purely as an act of intimidation."

Many of the speakers at the "Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children," organized by the groups Faith in Public Life and Faith in Action, were primarily women religious who stressed the need to end the current practice of placing children in detention centers at the border and emphasized that the need to start a new wave of protest against these policies should be viewed as a pro-life stance.

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Sister Carol Zinn, a Sister of St. Joseph of Philadelphia, and executive director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, told the group: "Catholic sisters have a long history with immigrant communities. We have seen the pain, suffering, fear and trauma firsthand. In recent months, as the humanitarian crisis has escalated, we have joined the tens of thousands who are outraged at the horrific situation at our southern border."

She pointed out that women religious have been ministering to those in need and donated money to support those seeking safety, freedom, security and a better life for their families. "We are here today because of our faith. The Gospel commands, and the values of our homeland demand, that we act," she added.

The message of urgency was essentially speaking to the choir because these activists, who showed their support with rounds of "Amens!" were clearly not new to this issue and many attended the rally particularly for its finale: when the arrests of 70 people for civil disobedience took place at the adjacent Russell Senate Office Building. Billy Critchley-Menor, S.J., an intern at America, was among  those arrested. 

Those arrested were charged with "incommoding, crowding, and obstructing" and had to each pay a $50 fine or request a court date. They were released that afternoon.

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During the morning action, a young mother from El Salvador held her baby as she addressed the crowd in Spanish. In remarks, which were translated, she thanked the group for their efforts to help immigrants and said she is seeking sanctuary, but she is afraid she will be separated from her baby.

As groups of tourists walked by and men and women in business attire headed toward Capitol Hill, they couldn't help but see the signs held aloft with messages such as "Franciscans for Justice," "Let Children Be with their Parents" and "Catholics for Families: Together and Free" as well as placards with images of children who have died in U.S. custody at the border.

Mercy Sister Patricia Murphy, a 90-year-old from Chicago, who came to the event to take part in the civil disobedience, told Catholic News Service right before the rally that she "couldn't not be here."

The sister wore a purple shirt identifying her as a Sister of Mercy, a pin that said: "You are my Neighbor" and carried a placard with the face of Felipe Gomez Alonzo, an 8-year-old from Guatemala who died from illness while in U.S. immigration custody after crossing the border with his father.

Sister Patricia said this would be her sixth arrest and she hoped the action would move others to do more. For the past 12 years, she has kept vigil, praying and protesting outside an immigrant detention center in Chicago every Friday morning.

Prior to the civil disobedience arrests at the Russell Senate Office Building, participants continued to hold signs with their message and speak out in protest. After warnings from police that they would be arrested if they stayed in the building's rotunda, those who chose to stay recited the Hail Mary as they waited to be handcuffed and escorted out by police.

Moments before the arrests, Sister Donna Korba, a Sister of the Servants of Mary in Scranton, Pennsylvania, said her participation at the day's gathering stemmed from her life of activism including recently volunteering at the U.S.-Mexico border with other sisters last December and the 12 years she spent in Guatemala.

"There are no easy answers, but we need to look at root causes of immigration," she said, recalling that when she asked one father from Guatemala why he would make the arduous journey to the United States he told her: "Because my children are hungry."

This story was updated on Friday, July 19.

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joan knothe
4 months 3 weeks ago

Dozens of women religious.....and how many priests??

Christopher Lochner
4 months 3 weeks ago

Cutting notches in each of their halos and nothing more.... Now, call your representatives and the White House to register your complaint and REALLY do something. No, you won't be in the news and will have absolutely no bragging rights and people will mock you for this but still.....

FRAN ABBOTT
4 months 3 weeks ago

It's easy to make a call. Putting yourself physically on the line is something else. I applaud those who participated. Kudos to America intern Billy Critchley-Menor, S.J., and thanks to the bishops who publicly supported today's action.

Irene Baldwin
4 months 3 weeks ago

You're mistaken in thinking it is more work to make a phone call than it is to travel down to DC in a heat wave to stand witness. I imagine the folks who were at the protest have made plenty of the phone calls you suggest as well. I admire what they're doing and it encourages me to do more myself.

JR Cosgrove
4 months 3 weeks ago

The irony is that Catholics are responsible for the plight of the people of Central America. Catholics are clueless about the Church’s meddling in political and economic affairs over the centuries and how the modern world originated. Answer: no Catholics were involved. Catholicism is a superior moral system but only when it is not involved politically. It has been extremely dysfunctional in the political arena. So call your law maker as an individual but not because you represent Catholic social ideas which only cause poverty.

ROSE TRESP
4 months 2 weeks ago

While I don't speak for all 70, I suspect that, like me, many of us have made repeated calls, have been to our elected officials offices in DC, and also know where their local offices are.

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

Christopher, see below for reading on the resistance work of Catholics.

L Hoover
4 months 3 weeks ago

I am proud of the Catholics who took a stand on behalf of the hopeful but vulnerable and suffering. How I wish I could have been there alongside the protestors who understand how to be disciples of Christ.

Brien Doyle
4 months 3 weeks ago

''Sister Patricia said this would be her sixth arrest ...''

Arrest her as a chronic criminal!

Brien Doyle
4 months 3 weeks ago

No visa = NO entry !

(why is that so difficult to understand?..!)
We see what happened with open borders in Europe....

Marina Memmo
4 months 3 weeks ago

Why is it so difficult for people like you to comprehend the injustice of what is happening? Locking up people in cages like animals is a punishment that grossly outweighs the misdemeanor of attempting to enter this nation without a visa. Republicans have no sense of proportion. They let a a Wall Street tycoon who indulged in the sex trafficking of minors to get off with a slap on the wrist, but cry and wail like banshees if a teenage boy fleeing for his life from gang members attempts to enter this nation without visa. We've never had open borders. Obama deported more people than Trump, but nobody died as a result of his policies, because his administration was competent and more selective about who to target. The Trump administration is just pure incompetence at every level and people are dying because of it.

Rob Jones
4 months 3 weeks ago

The Injustice, is the FACT that the illegal immigrants over 1/3 of the parents / children, ARE NOT Related, based upon DNA tests by the border patrol, Why are you ignoring the fact that our immigratyion system is being abused, and also the abuse of our legal systems by churches harboring illegal immigrants, that BROKE U.S. Laws entering illegally. You also forget, this is a 20 year old problem of Abuse of U.S. laws, and Tax Payers, who are paying for all the FREE being giving out, and also what is being stolen, plus the drugs and crime from illegal immigrants. I see the abuse of the U.S. and its laws, locally here in NJ, the MOST DENSELY populated Per Sqaure Mile within the Entire U.S., My neighbor from Guatemala is illegally here for 15 years, and also houses illegals ( new ones for months at a time, until the next batch cycle through) This year alone, ( in 6 months) the U.S. is now paying for over 700,000 illegal immigrants, to house, clothe, support, medical care, child care, schooling, ER Room birthing visits, college, access to FREE lawyers.... Oh, and we tax payers, just paid for 2.2 MILLION diapers...and that cost will be repeating every so many weeks/months, years, ...Why dont you bring up the facts that if there was a border wall, U.S. tax payers would not be STUCK with the constant costs of supporting illegal immigrants, Why dont you bring up that IF the DEM's didn't deny the funds that were being asked for multiple times, over the last at least 10 months by the U.S. Border Agency, ICE, and Homeland Security, that keeps being denied by DEM's for which they would have been able to have a better reponse to the volume of illegal immigrants. Whyb don't you talk about the fact that Illegal Immigrants from 52 countries have crossed from Mexico to the U.S. THIS YEAR ( border agency stats)....The 700,000 illegal immigrants, that crossed this year, is bigger than most armies in the world, if they ran from fear, they are a big enough group, to get together, and conquer the fears they are leaving from, into the U.S........ U.S. tax payers, are being abused for 20 years, and U.S. laws are being abused, and it is going to stop. Also remember, DEM's kept saying for the last 7 Months, there is no border crises, and didn't fund ALL 3 security agencies, because the DEM's said "" Trump is fabricating a crises""" well we all know wrong DEM's were, and are.......Time for this to STOP, and stop the Churches from Aiding and Abetting illegal immigrants, and breaking U.S. Laws....

Lucy Dadesio
4 months 3 weeks ago

I believe that you cannot understand the rule of law in the USA. Yes, it would be your nirvana to have our borders wide open, but who will support all of these people? The catholic church? Highly doubtful as I haven't seen any vatican treasures being sold to help these people... Asylum is supposed to be sought in the first safe country. Sorry, but the USA cannot be the first safe country for all of these people. It is economic migration which is quite different than asylum. Why don't they migrate to South America? I am tired of liberals socialists bashing the USA- we cannot be responsible to the entire poor of this world. Why doesn't the vatican and united nations do something to help these people in their own countries to improve their own government and create better economies so people can live and prosper in their own countries? I find it quite interesting that the outrage is quite specific- only using the left's "outrage" Where was this same outrage when President Obama was making "executive decisions" to the detriment of this country? Unvetted people are flooding into our country - released, and never return for legal hearings. What if you were to enter a foreign country and do the same? Would you and your family be given free social services, education, etc? I think not- more likely you'd be in prison. These illegal immigrants were not treated nearly as well as they are now. They should not be coming in illegally. Come to a legal border crossing and enter legally- Go to another country, or stay and work wo improve your own country. Help the people in their native land instead of encouraging them to endure such horrible conditions in the USA. Where is the outrage for all of the christians that are being slaughtered by muslims around the world? Perhaps the pope will make a statement, but no one does anything to stop this genocide. Why is the church silent> The church has much to answer for with the long standing sexual abuse of systemic cover up which harmed many children and families around the world. No one is emphasising this scandal either. But the faithful continue to fund the payouts to the victims while the vatican and all of the "religious" that remain in vatican city are protected by corruption and armed guards and a wall. Hypocrisy? Hmmm. What about all of the "catholic" politicians that support abortion until birth? no excommunication? No nothing is done because they support the socialist agenda. You wonder why people are leaving the catholic church? Take a long introspective look. A sovereign nation's laws must be followed, I am sure that vatican city could take in many migrants for permanent residence, How many live there? There are many rooms that the poor can live in there. Strange how it is "do as I say, not as I do".

Anthony Noble
4 months 3 weeks ago

Well, Brien Doyle, my Irish predecessors didn't have visas when they came to America and many nativists told them to go back to Ireland. The St. Louis ship was turned away from America, since they had no visas, and these Jewish refugees had to return to Germany and were eventually killed in the Death Camps by the Nazis. America should not repeat its callous actions toward those fleeing to come here.
As Americans, we are privileged to live in a prosperous and peaceful country. If we lived in a land where we and our families are in danger of being killed or we had nothing to eat, I hope we could find safety.

Michael Sheridan
4 months 3 weeks ago

Brien Doyle: "What happened with open borders in Europe" Open borders in Europe, in particular, the Members of the EU are allowed free access between borders to citizens of the EU. Nothing to do with allowing refugees in. If you do not really understand don't bother making a comment. What some European Countries have done is allow protection - "I was homeless and you sheltered me" - to those who were fleeing all sorts of things in their own countries. Incidentally, countries that Western Powers went into and did nothing to create a country tht was safe, secure and financially stable. It is very easy to sit back, when you are thousands of miles away, and think it doesn't affect me, I have no responsibility. If we support action we have a responsibility. Those who protested at the Capitol are to apllauded. God Bless Them!

Robin Vestal
4 months 3 weeks ago

Thank you! I've been inspired by the Never Again movement. And grateful for the Catholics that are also standing with our brothers and sisters in these dark days. I've spoken out to my parish about the deafening and heart rending silence that breaks my heart.

Timothy Garrity
4 months 3 weeks ago

Here are Catholics being arrested also...to save babies lives.
https://www.facebook.com/698725240337074/posts/1026671550875773/?sfnsn=mo

Lisa M
4 months 3 weeks ago

Your point Timothy? The unborn child is not more valuable than the children who are already here. All people are children of God and deserve our protection. If we care for the children that are here, by being witnesses of love to our neigbours, perhaps more will see the injustice of taking the lives of the unborn. If however, some pro life advocates continue to fight for the 'innocent' lives of the unborn, and ignore and turn their backs on others, the shameful hypocrisy will continue to prevent others from accepting the whole message our faith teaches.

Michael Gerrity
4 months 3 weeks ago

Yeah Tim -- too bad ya'll lose interest in them once they are out of the birth canal.

Tim Donovan
4 months 3 weeks ago

I'm a moderate registered Republican who for about 25 of my 57 years was a registered Democrat. I still support many, if not most, of the policies typically favored by the Democratic party. I oppose capital punishment (I'm pen pals with a man serving life in prison for a serious crime. From our years of correspondence, I'm convinced that my friend, a devout Jehovah's Witness, has reformed his life. I occasionally send him modest amounts of cash for his personal needs. Ironically, he supports capital punishment. I also contribute to the Catholic Mobilizing Network, which works to end capital punishment). I support stringent gun control laws. In 1994, I discovered a handgun in my late Dad's bank safety deposit box. I immediately turned it into my local police department. I contribute to Everytown For Gun Safety, as well as Ceasefire PA. I support reasonable government regulations and laws to protect our environment. I occasionally contribute to the Catholic Climate Covenant, and read Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical Laudato Si. I support reasonable government assistance to the millions of Americans in need. Among other people, these include people who are disabled (I'm a retired Special Education teacher who instructed children with brain damage, some of whom also were physically disabled and/or had behavior disorders), homeless, mentally ill (a good friend is mentally ill, and one of my roommates in the nursing home where I live is a friend who has schizophrenia). I support assistance for senior citizens, veterans, and those addicted to legal or illegal drugs (my nephew is a recovered alcoholic, and I drank to excess in my late teens and early twenties). Years ago, I worked at a,group home caring for disabled men. Several of my coworkers were immigrants from Liberia. They had fled from a brutal civil war seeking a better life in our nation. I commend the Catholic activists who were arrested in protest of President Trump's immigration policies. (More on being arrested later). Although I'm not a,pacifist, I admire the courage of the convictions of those who are. I support war only after all diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. Of course, I oppose deliberately targeting civilians. I also oppose the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Without being immodest, I also each month contribute modest sums to various Catholic and secular charities. Among other charities, I contribute to Habitat for Humanity, Alcoholics Anonymous, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, Philabundance (a food bank), my home parish, West Catholic High School, Franciscan University of Steubenville, and The Arc of Delaware County (an advocacy group for the disabled; years ago, I served on the Board of Directors). I also contribute to the agency where I worked with disabled children and adults in various capacities for over 25 years. In addition, I contribute modest sums to the Halo Trust (a landmine removal group), the Tim Tebow Foundation (Tebow is a Baptist who founded a hospital in the Phillipines for children with orthopedic conditions. The Foundation also provides funds for people who adopt children with special needs, and funds "A Night to Shine," which is a prom for disabled people sponsored by churches, primarily Protestant denominations) . Other charities which receive modest sums from me include Christian Appalachian Project (which assists the poor in Appalachia), the Medical Mission Sisters, Senior Community Services (a network of day programs for senior citizens), Priests of the Sacred Heart, Dawn's Place (a home in Philadelphia, PA, for women who are victims of human trafficking ) Ceasefire PA (a gun control group), Catholic Near East Welfare Association, and the Blue Dot Project (support group for women with postpartum depression). Again, these various groups receive modest sums of money, as I only receive $45 each month. A few more charities if you don't mind. Cradles to Crayons (which provides various items for children, from toys to baby furniture) the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Companions for Heroes (which provides free companion animals for servicemen/ women who have PTSD), the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska, and the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition. I also oppose the violence of legal abortion. I support the restoration of legal protection to innocent unborn human beings. I finally support both the PA Pro-life Federation (which provides education about abortion) and the National Right to Life Committee and their political action committee. I also support alternative to abortion agencies which provide compassionate, practical assistance to pregnant women. These include the Mother's Home (a shelter for pregnant women that provides other services as well). Mom's House is in my view the finest alternative to abortion group to which I contribute. It is a network of about six "homes" which provide free day care for the children of low income women so that they can complete their education. I do believe that I care about human beings and human rights both before and after birth. I admire the people who were arrested for civil disobedience to protest inhumane immigration policies. I would have been glad to have participated, but I don't drive anymore as I have a chronic but manageable health condition. Years ago, I was arrested myself along with several hundred other people of different faiths for a,peaceful "sit in" outside of a suburban Philadelphia abortion facility. I'll end by making a few more observations, if people can forgive me for writing such a long post. In the nursing home where I live, a significant number of the nurses and aides are immigrants from a number of nations in Africa. Many of the residents (many of whom I have befriended) are very elderly (last week our oldest resident who was 106 passed away) and many residents are severely disabled either mentally or physically (or both). A fair number are incontinent and need to be fed and showered. I help out when I can by pushing people who are in wheelchairs to where they need to go, and assist one of my roommates with getting dressed and emptying his urinal. I-m also a Catholic who's gay. My family, friends, and my former coworkers know my orientation However, I only chose to share this fact about myself with one nursing home resident who's a good friend and discreet. I haven't told anyone else in the nursing home because several of the residents (including my roommate/friend who I assist with some of his personal needs--dressing, emptying his urinal) have used the very unkind term "faggot" to describe gay men. I have been celibate for most of my life, and have been for more than 15 years. However, years ago I gave into temptation and had sex with men. I regretted my behavior, and received forgiveness and consolation through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I still occasionally call a friend who's gay with whom I worked with any years ago. (He doesnt drive, either). I do believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Finally, like most if not all Catholics I continue to sin. I'm fortunate that my pastor or his assistant visit me each month (at my request ) for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. I also watch Mass on my television every Sunday morning, and on holydays am fortunate that I am allowed to watch Mass on EWTN in our facility library. I'm also fortunate that I'm able to attend each Sunday at the home a Communion Service, led by an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist from a local parish. Once a month I pray the rosary with a group of residents, led by women from a local parish. I also each month attend a prayer group meeting hosted by a Baptist minister and several members of is congregation.

Rudolph Koser
4 months 3 weeks ago

I send your resume into the Congregation for Saints. In the meantime anyone who claims they are Republican must also claim the the adjective of racist. Why aren’t you at least Independent?

JR Cosgrove
4 months 2 weeks ago

No, it’s the Democrats who are the racists. They are the ones who created the policies that destroyed family structure. That is the real racism that exists in the United States. Most people who vote for Democrats are clueless of the party’s history.

Tim Donovan
4 months 3 weeks ago

I'm a moderate registered Republican who for about 25 of my 57 years was a registered Democrat. I still support many, if not most, of the policies typically favored by the Democratic party. I oppose capital punishment (I'm pen pals with a man serving life in prison for a serious crime. From our years of correspondence, I'm convinced that my friend, a devout Jehovah's Witness, has reformed his life. I occasionally send him modest amounts of cash for his personal needs. Ironically, he supports capital punishment. I also contribute to the Catholic Mobilizing Network, which works to end capital punishment). I support stringent gun control laws. In 1994, I discovered a handgun in my late Dad's bank safety deposit box. I immediately turned it into my local police department. I contribute to Everytown For Gun Safety, as well as Ceasefire PA. I support reasonable government regulations and laws to protect our environment. I occasionally contribute to the Catholic Climate Covenant, and read Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical Laudato Si. I support reasonable government assistance to the millions of Americans in need. Among other people, these include people who are disabled (I'm a retired Special Education teacher who instructed children with brain damage, some of whom also were physically disabled and/or had behavior disorders), homeless, mentally ill (a good friend is mentally ill, and one of my roommates in the nursing home where I live is a friend who has schizophrenia). I support assistance for senior citizens, veterans, and those addicted to legal or illegal drugs (my nephew is a recovered alcoholic, and I drank to excess in my late teens and early twenties). Years ago, I worked at a,group home caring for disabled men. Several of my coworkers were immigrants from Liberia. They had fled from a brutal civil war seeking a better life in our nation. I commend the Catholic activists who were arrested in protest of President Trump's immigration policies. (More on being arrested later). Although I'm not a,pacifist, I admire the courage of the convictions of those who are. I support war only after all diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. Of course, I oppose deliberately targeting civilians. I also oppose the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Without being immodest, I also each month contribute modest sums to various Catholic and secular charities. Among other charities, I contribute to Habitat for Humanity, Alcoholics Anonymous, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, Philabundance (a food bank), my home parish, West Catholic High School, Franciscan University of Steubenville, and The Arc of Delaware County (an advocacy group for the disabled; years ago, I served on the Board of Directors). I also contribute to the agency where I worked with disabled children and adults in various capacities for over 25 years. In addition, I contribute modest sums to the Halo Trust (a landmine removal group), the Tim Tebow Foundation (Tebow is a Baptist who founded a hospital in the Phillipines for children with orthopedic conditions. The Foundation also provides funds for people who adopt children with special needs, and funds "A Night to Shine," which is a prom for disabled people sponsored by churches, primarily Protestant denominations) . Other charities which receive modest sums from me include Christian Appalachian Project (which assists the poor in Appalachia), the Medical Mission Sisters, Senior Community Services (a network of day programs for senior citizens), Priests of the Sacred Heart, Dawn's Place (a home in Philadelphia, PA, for women who are victims of human trafficking ) Ceasefire PA (a gun control group), Catholic Near East Welfare Association, and the Blue Dot Project (support group for women with postpartum depression). Again, these various groups receive modest sums of money, as I only receive $45 each month. A few more charities if you don't mind. Cradles to Crayons (which provides various items for children, from toys to baby furniture) the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Companions for Heroes (which provides free companion animals for servicemen/ women who have PTSD), the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska, and the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition. I also oppose the violence of legal abortion. I support the restoration of legal protection to innocent unborn human beings. I finally support both the PA Pro-life Federation (which provides education about abortion) and the National Right to Life Committee and their political action committee. I also support alternative to abortion agencies which provide compassionate, practical assistance to pregnant women. These include the Mother's Home (a shelter for pregnant women that provides other services as well). Mom's House is in my view the finest alternative to abortion group to which I contribute. It is a network of about six "homes" which provide free day care for the children of low income women so that they can complete their education. I do believe that I care about human beings and human rights both before and after birth. I admire the people who were arrested for civil disobedience to protest inhumane immigration policies. I would have been glad to have participated, but I don't drive anymore as I have a chronic but manageable health condition. Years ago, I was arrested myself along with several hundred other people of different faiths for a,peaceful "sit in" outside of a suburban Philadelphia abortion facility. I'll end by making a few more observations, if people can forgive me for writing such a long post. In the nursing home where I live, a significant number of the nurses and aides are immigrants from a number of nations in Africa. Many of the residents (many of whom I have befriended) are very elderly (last week our oldest resident who was 106 passed away) and many residents are severely disabled either mentally or physically (or both). A fair number are incontinent and need to be fed and showered. I help out when I can by pushing people who are in wheelchairs to where they need to go, and assist one of my roommates with getting dressed and emptying his urinal. I-m also a Catholic who's gay. My family, friends, and my former coworkers know my orientation However, I only chose to share this fact about myself with one nursing home resident who's a good friend and discreet. I haven't told anyone else in the nursing home because several of the residents (including my roommate/friend who I assist with some of his personal needs--dressing, emptying his urinal) have used the very unkind term "faggot" to describe gay men. I have been celibate for most of my life, and have been for more than 15 years. However, years ago I gave into temptation and had sex with men. I regretted my behavior, and received forgiveness and consolation through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I still occasionally call a friend who's gay with whom I worked with any years ago. (He doesnt drive, either). I do believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Finally, like most if not all Catholics I continue to sin. I'm fortunate that my pastor or his assistant visit me each month (at my request ) for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. I also watch Mass on my television every Sunday morning, and on holydays am fortunate that I am allowed to watch Mass on EWTN in our facility library. I'm also fortunate that I'm able to attend each Sunday at the home a Communion Service, led by an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist from a local parish. Once a month I pray the rosary with a group of residents, led by women from a local parish. I also each month attend a prayer group meeting hosted by a Baptist minister and several members of is congregation.

G Reeder-Ferreira
4 months 3 weeks ago

Come out come out wherever you are...

Randal Agostini
4 months 3 weeks ago

When is it time that we stop pretending to be something other than we are? How many Americans today even realize what America stands for? If America stands for anything - that "thing" has to be tangible - it has to be real. We are a human endeavor, a work in progress, seeking to become that best version of ourselves, but everything in this world, even virtue, requires structure and the fabric of that structure - here in America is the law. Once we lose respect for the law, we lose everything, even our freedom.

Roland Greystoke
4 months 3 weeks ago

Why are those parents dragging their kids hundreds of miles and putting them in harm's way? Don't they love their children?

Stanley Kopacz
4 months 3 weeks ago

Take your next vacation to where they're coming from. You may get your answer.

Irene Baldwin
4 months 3 weeks ago

That feels like blaming the victim to me. Our government (and by extension, its citizens) are treating people cruelly- including children. I don't think we get a pass on our cruelty by saying it's the parents' fault for bringing their children within our reach.

Rhett Segall
4 months 3 weeks ago

Protest rallies have their place in the struggle for social justice--as a last resort. This is analogous to using military force in warfare. They are counterproductive, however, if used before all other options have been exhausted. Why? Because protest rallies and civil disobedience create a "we-them" context making the effort at finding common ground extremely difficult. Instead of dialogue each side tries to use greater and greater force to achieve its goal.

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

Public prayer is analogous to military force?

Mike Macrie
4 months 3 weeks ago

There will be a special place in Heaven for these people who put their Faith on the Line :
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, "I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Alan Johnstone
4 months 3 weeks ago

No. You missed the bit about rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.

Jesus was talking person to person, the only unit of moral responsibility in the universe besides the angels and they have made their choices once and for all.
A state, a nation, a country does not have an immortal soul, Caesar is obliged to act in the best interests of the people he rules and the region for which he is responsible.

YOU are to do the feeding and watering and clothing and sheltering and visiting YOURSELF - one on one.

KatieSilver Spring
4 months 3 weeks ago

I missed the coverage of such a protest during the Obama administration when the real horrors were going on. What happened today and yesterday are just political maneuvers, not religious or moral ones. Tax exempt status should be pulled for these organizations. Priests and Bishops should be publicly made accountable. One more example of using children for "other" purposes.

J Jones
4 months 3 weeks ago

Thank for the reporting, and thank you to the sisters and those who joined them in attesting to and protesting the inhumane conditions in which infants, children and adults are being housed by the government of the United Stated of America and in the United States of America.

G Reeder-Ferreira
4 months 3 weeks ago

There are better ways to organize and lobby lawmakers that won’t get you arrested. With this being such a hot button issue I don’t think what they did will actually work. Do you? They couldn’t just visit their district offices and share why immigration reform matters in small groups with frequent visits?

Consider we work on reducing the recidivism rate of arrests for Catholics.

J Jones
4 months 3 weeks ago

Gabe, there ARE other ways to organize and lobby lawmakers, and I think it sensible to assume that most of the participants in this action of witness and prayer also organize and lobby using those other strategies as well. Peaceful civil disobedience has a long tradition in the United States and in the Catholic Church. I have always understood Jesus' decision to overturn the tables of the Temple money-changers as the first Christian act of civil disobedience. That tells me everything I need to know about the value of civil disobedience.

J Jones
4 months 3 weeks ago

Gabe, there ARE other ways to organize and lobby lawmakers, and I think it sensible to assume that most of the participants in this action of witness and prayer also organize and lobby using those other strategies as well. Peaceful civil disobedience has a long tradition in the United States and in the Catholic Church. I have always understood Jesus' decision to overturn the tables of the Temple money-changers as the first Christian act of civil disobedience. That tells me everything I need to know about the value of civil disobedience.

Alan Johnstone
4 months 3 weeks ago

The money changers in the Temple were racketeers.
They were not only swindling the poor by having a Temple currency different from the normal currency and setting a very high exchange rate, but they were finding spots on lambs, rejecting them, offering them a spotless lamb for a high price in exchange so their once in a lifetime journey up to Jerusalem was not a total waste of their lifetime savings by being thwarted at not having a lamb to sacrifice and then adding that lamb rejected to their stock to sell to their next victim.

He was outraged by their blasphemy, quite properly. Note, this was going on all the time, Jesus acted ONCE and His was a prophetic action, NOT a political one.

The border invaders are the law-breakers.

Now, leave your house and home and motor vehicle open and unlocked day and night to demonstrate how boundaries and borders should not be allowed to stop anybody who wishes entry at any time.

Rhett Segall
4 months 3 weeks ago

I agree that Jesus act was prophetic. But note that after driving out the money changers, Jesus continued engaging with the people in the temple: “He taught them”. (cf. Mk.11:18 ff.) What working towards social justice demands, besides civil disobedience as a last resort, is the grunt work , as mentioned, of lobbying, voter education, candidate endorsement, and, most of all, finding stepping stones of common ground with people of different points of view. You will note in the "cleansing of the temple" that Jesus would not "let anyone carry anything through the temple" (Mk.11:16) People were using the temple as a "short cut"! We have to be wary of short cuts. They can seem to do the job but frequently are superficial. The hard work here will be finding common ground and not hating the other.

G Reeder-Ferreira
4 months 3 weeks ago

I suppose I assumed they hadn’t tried other means. Like many migrants trying to cross the border illegally, it would be sensible to assume they tried to pass legally and could not find a proper channel. As an act of civil disobedience in protest of their own country and in rebellion of our existing immigration laws they pressed forward. And just like the protesters in DC were arrested.

Vincent Gaglione
4 months 3 weeks ago

The comments here are filled with the “same old,” “same old’ political rhetoric. To that rhetoric, please allow me:

Yes, Obama deported whatever number he deported. That’s what you wanted and want, isn’t it? He didn’t do it while creating fear, hatred, and animosity toward the deportees. He did it while asking for Republican support for a whole new immigration law. Republican reply..NO!

Despite what you may think, unless otherwise ruled by the Supreme Court, every child born in the United States, to a citizen, a visitor, a green card holder or the undocumented, is a USA CITIZEN. I do not subscribe to any action which deprives any child of parents or deports a citizen along with parents! Citizens do not get deported. Either you believe the family is an essential unit of society or you don’t. If Melania Trump can bring her family in, any citizen should be able to do the same. Stop the hypocrisy.

Trump is probably the most immoral and hypocritical president that we have had in the modern era from 1900 to the present. He makes a liar like Nixon look like a saint. He makes a racist like Wilson look beneficent. He makes a womanizer like Kennedy look like an altar boy. They all know it but the Christian right ignores it, and in so doing they make themselves more immoral and hypocritical than Trump!

There is no defense of current immigration rhetoric and policies of this administration that holds any morality. Detention centers, the separation of children from parents – yes, it started with Obama and he was wrong to do it as well, but he didn’t make it into a policy to brag about, and if it didn't bother you then, why raise it now –, the refusal of asylum rights, the naming of immigrants as rapists, criminals, murderers, etc., all these things don’t just smack of ineptitude, they are outright immorality. And it needs to be called out as such by any Christian who claims to be one.

So, thank you, whoever is taking up the cause in protest. And to the critics of the protestors, mow your lawns or count your pennies and be satisfied with what you have and refuse to share it. But don’t tell me that you can defend what is happening in Christian virtue or justice.

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

Resources for those interested in learning about Catholics who risk arrest to speak the Gospel:

1) any book or article by or about Dorothy Day and Oscar Romero, saints of the Roman Catholic Church
2) Any article or book about Sister Ann Montgomery RSCJ
3) Any book or article about Father John Dear (https://www.amazon.com/Sacrament-Civil-Disobedience-S-J-John/dp/1879175169
4) Any book or article about the Berrigan brothers, both priests (https://www.amazon.com/At-Play-Lions-Den-Biography/dp/1626982481)
5) Doing Time for Peace by Rosalie Riegle (https://www.amazon.com/Doing-Time-Peace-Resistance-Community/dp/0826518729)
6) Crossing the Line by Rosalie Riegle (https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Line-Nonviolent-Resisters-Speak-ebook/dp/B00BHLH7HA/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1)
7) Any other article or book about Catholic Workers
8) Any article or book about Father Bix Bischel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._Bichsel
9) Any article about the School of the Americas and Roy Bourgeois

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