19 March 2022
Raíces y Alas Congress Goes to Capitol Hill to Petition for Immigration Reform
The national congress of Hispanic Ministry Raíces y Alas, which will take place in Washington, DC, between April 26-30 of this year, emphasizes four pastoral priorities: Family, Pastoral Juvenil Hispana, Pastoral Formation, and Social Justice, all of them seen from the perspective of synodality, that is, listening to the people of God, working together for a Church and a society committed to values.
All of Raíces y Alas goes to the Capitol
Regarding social justice, we should note that on Wednesday, April 27, all the participants of the Congress will go to the US Capitol. At 1:00 pm, Raíces y Alas attendees will visit their state senators to petition for immigration reform.
At the same time, also at 1:00 pm, a prayer service and press conference will be held in front of the U.S. Congress, for the national media. This activity will be led by Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington and president of the Migration Committee of the US Bishops Conference. He will be accompanied by Elisabeth Román, president of the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry; Jorge Lima, representing Stand Together; and Juan F. Soto, representing the Gamaliel Network. Several bishops will be in prayer in front of the Capitol supporting those visiting their senators.
Visiting Senators, Prayer and Mass
At the end of the visit, all will proceed to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, will celebrate Mass in the main nave of the church at 5:00 pm. All are invited to participate in the prayer in front of the Capitol, the press conference, and the Mass.
Justice for migrants, in the words of Bishop Dorsonville
Bishop Mario Dorsonville published an article in the newspaper El Pregonero, in Washington, DC, in which he expresses the importance of the Christian commitment to social justice, specifically for migrants in the United States. We include below the most relevant content of the article.
Regarding the commitment of the Congress with social justice, Dorsonville affirms that “this congress seeks to recapitulate the main recommendations of the V Encuentro of Hispanic Ministry held in Texas in 2018. An important point of the event will be the mass that will provide moments of prayer for the participants, as well as some conferences on Pastoral Juvenil Hispana and the importance of Social Justice, especially immigration reform, in our nation. This Hispanic Ministry congress does not seek to give new action points, but to continue to emphasize the ways and forms that Hispanic communities should adopt to continue to develop the recommendations of the V Encuentro.”
Bishop Mario Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and chair of Migration Committee – USCCB
The Church in the fight for DACA and TPS immigrants
The bishop points out that on the other hand “it is important to have a day of reflection and advocacy for those who benefit from the DACA (ver 1) and TPS (ver 2) programs. For years we have been trying to find a solution to this problem by providing a path to citizenship for thousands of families who came to this country many years ago and who are, at least, under a temporary work permit. At a time when so many of these families have lost their lives fulfilling their work obligations and continuing to contribute to the good health of the country’s economy, it’s not right that they are not rewarded with immigration reform, which would justly link them in a definitive way to the life and future of this nation.”
The V National Encuentro of Hispanic Ministry: for a committed Church
Regarding the Church’s commitment to immigration reform, Dorsonville points out that “the first and clearest recommendation of the V Encuentro de Pastoral Hispana -at the national level- emphasizes and calls bishops, priests and agents of evangelization to commit ourselves to continue to raise up a Church that is more committed to the process of immigration reform. We must be a Church that goes out and a Church that welcomes immigrants. This is a singular and unique moment in this process, and for this reason the Raíces y Alas congress wants to focus its reflections on the response at the level of social justice and openness to the clamor of immigrants, which the Church cannot and should not ignore.”
Commitment of the Bishops in the U. S.
The president of Migration for the Episcopate adds that “the bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops feel deeply associated and co-responsible in this work of advocacy for those who have no voice. We desire and see the need to be the prophetic voice that calls for the unity of political parties to act in conscience on behalf of those who need our prayer, our voice and our presence more than ever before.”
Bishop Dorsonville concludes by writing that “these days will be important because they will provide the essential elements and pastoral reflections on how to continue accompanying – in this process – our brothers and sisters who take refuge in the protection of Our Lord and have the conviction of their faith that, one day soon, we can all begin to see a new horizon for the new generations of young people that will be a new chapter in terms of immigration.”
What is DACA
On June 15, 2012, the secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status. (Source: www.uscis.gov.)
2 TPS: Temporary Protected Status
Registration of journalists
Members of the Press:
We look forward to your presence at this important event for the Church in the United States.
More information can be obtained through our web page: www.ncchm-us.org, both in Spanish and English.
Information for media people and the registration form can be accessed through the following link: www.ncchm-us.org/press.
We would appreciate it if you would spread the word about this event.
Raíces y Alas Congress
Texto de la canción de este video
ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Lyrics of this video
ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement