Monday, September 01, 2014
   
Text Size

Current News

Una nación de inmigrantes debe de tener un sistema migratorio que funciona

Los Estados Unidos no llegó a ser excelente por mantener a la gente fuera de sus fronteras. Llegó a ser excelente porque, a través de nuestra historia, manteníamos abierta la puerta a los que buscaban empezar de nuevo, los que buscaban la oportunidad económica y la posibilidad de criar a sus familias en paz y libertad.

Trágicamente, la ley migratoria es anticuada y ya no representa este modelo de visión tan característica de los Estados Unidos. Un país que fue fundado y construido por inmigrantes ahora edifica barreras innecesarias que prohíbe la entrada a Americanos aspirantes y que separa familias. América necesita urgentemente que el congreso pase la reforma migratoria para arreglar un sistema roto que claramente no satisface nuestras necesidades.

Yo soy hijo de inmigrantes. Mis padres vinieron aquí en busca de una vida mejor en los principios del siglo XX, durante una época en que las reglas eran más simples y obtener la ciudanía era más fácil. Hoy en día, es una lucha tremenda para muchas personas que quieren obtener la ciudanía estadounidense. Algunas cuotas arbitrarias, establecidas hace años, dejan poco espacio a los refugiados y proveen pocas oportunidades para los que buscan trabajo, aun cuando empleadores estadounidenses necesitan su ayuda de manera desesperada.

El sistema migratorio quebrado también crea una clase baja permanente de no ciudadanos – personas que inmigraron sin documentación apropiada porque se enfrentaban con dificultades insoportables en su tierra natal. A menudo, al encontrarse obligados a decidir entre o quebrar las leyes migratorias de EE.UU. o mirar a su familia pasar hambre, eligen lo anterior. Imagino que es una elección que muchos de nosotros también escogeríamos al enfrentarnos con la misma situación.

Una vez en los Estados Unidos, no importa lo duro que trabajen o que tanto vivan una vida de respeto por la ley, la política actual de la inmigración no les da una senda a la legalidad. Ellos no pueden avanzar y corregir la trasgresión legal sin perder su sustento y la calidad de vida que sus familias han llegado a conocer.

Esto es especialmente difícil para los niños. Aun los que fueron traídos a los Estados Unidos en la infancia, algunos sin recuerdo ninguno de su lugar de nacimiento ni la habilidad de hablar el idioma del país de origen, se enfrentan con un futuro inseguro en el único país que conocen como su casa.

Muchas veces, los inmigrantes documentados también están tratados de manera injusta por el sistema migratorio. Están forzados a esperar años para el permiso de reunir a su familia. En una nación en que se supone que la santidad de la vida humana y la importancia suprema de la unidad familiar es una de nuestros valores más apreciadas, este hecho es imperdonable.

La Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos se pronunció oficialmente en contra de las políticas de inmigración de “solamente hacer cumplir la ley”, y a favor de una reforma migratoria integral. Es justo y es necesario que los Estados Unidos cambie la política migratoria para crear una senda a la legalidad para los inmigrantes indocumentados y sus hijos. También requerimos políticas más inteligentes que buscan utilizar los talentos y la fuerza de trabajo que ofrecen los inmigrantes creando así más empleos para todos los trabajadores y para hacer a las familias más prósperas.

La Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos tiene el poder. Por favor, únanse a mí para asegurar que nuestros representantes en la Cámara sepan que sus electores apoyamos a una reforma del sistema migratorio. Nuestros congresistas deben de escucharnos antes de que termine otra sesión de la Cámara sin la aprobación de un plan de reforma. Tenemos una oportunidad de arreglar nuestro sistema migratorio — no podemos permitir que se nos
escape una vez más.

 

People of Life Awards honor three during pro-life leadership conference

CHARLESTON—Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, presented three People of Life Awards for lifetime commitment to the pro-life movement on July 28 during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference.

They went to the Little Sisters of the Poor, Sheila Hopkins and the late George Wesolek.

Over 150 diocesan, state and national Catholic pro-life leaders and guests from across the country attended the private awards dinner held in Charleston and sponsored by the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

The award recognizes Catholics who have answered the call outlined by Pope John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae 1995), dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person. It is bestowed in honor of their significant contributions to the culture of life.

The Little Sisters of the Poor were recognized for their dedication in serving the elderly poor and doing so with integrity in the face of pressure to compromise their principles. The international congregation of women religious currently serves 13,000 elderly poor in 31 countries, with 30 nursing homes/assisted living facilities in the United States.

The HHS mandate would make the sisters facilitate access to abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraceptives in their employee health plan or face punitive fines. Because they serve and hire people who are not Catholic, the Little Sisters are not considered a “religious employer.”

In September 2013, they filed a class-action lawsuit, “Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Sebelius”, to persist in their ministry without having to violate their beliefs.

Sheila Snow Hopkins was honored for her 11 years as director for social concerns and respect life at the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2002 to 2013, where she represented the bishops on issues of human life, dignity and social justice before the legislative and executive branches of government, and public and private sector organizations.

She has served as an advisor to the USCCB’s Committee on Marriage and Family Life from 2003 to 2005, on the boards of the Florida Pregnancy Care Network and the Florida Community Loan Fund, and on Florida’s Commission on Marriage and Family Support Initiatives and the Child Abuse Prevention and Permanency Council.

Over 38 years, Hopkins held many positions with the National Council of Catholic Women and its diocesan and state affiliates in Florida. She will soon be installed as the national council’s president-elect.

George Wesolek was honored posthumously for his decades spent advocating for the unborn and other vulnerable populations. From 1985 until his death at age 70 in April, he served as the director of public policy and social concerns in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

His leadership addressed a spectrum of social issues, including: protection of the unborn, Catholic principles of marriage, refuge for undocumented immigrants, affordable housing, health care access, healing from violence in the streets and alleviation of poverty.

He played a key role in building the West Coast Walk for Life into a major pro-life event. In 2012, he spoke in defense of religious liberty at the “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rally in San Francisco.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said “the passing of George Wesolek marks the end of a great deal of history in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, not just in terms of length of time but also impact on the mission of the Church.” His wife, Geri Wesolek, and one of their four daughters received the award on his behalf.

Watch the video on www.themiscellany.org.

Read more about Catholics like you by subscribing to The Catholic Miscellany

 

   

Sharing the peace of Christ

One of the most recognizable and anticipated portions of the Mass is called the Rite of Peace. After the invitation of the priest or deacon, those present share among themselves a sign of communion and mutual charity before receiving Communion. This portion of the Mass has taken different forms over the centuries, but its significance has never changed.

As the first Christians looked to the Scriptures and their inherited synagogue practices for inspiration to form their own unique worship, they recalled one of Jesus’ teachings. Just after He gave the Beatitudes, Jesus tells His followers, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

By the mid fifth century the practice in Rome had linked the Rite of Peace to the words of the Lord’s Prayer where believers pray, “… as we forgive those who trespass against us.” So the gesture was placed after the consecration to show better the spreading of Christ’s peace from the altar in the Eucharist to and among His members in gestures of charitable unity.

The rite always signified charitable care for the wellbeing of those with whom the Christian was worshipping. Early writings indicate that the misapplication and overindulgence to which the symbol is disposed had to be corrected. It was this, in part, that was the reason for the separation of men from women in churches so that they could worship without distraction and share appropriate gestures soberly, something our Muslim brothers and sisters still commonly do.

Recently Pope Francis issued a similar call to restraint when sharing this gesture of communion, reminding pastors that the exchange of the Rite of Peace is optional and need not always be done. When the option is employed, however, the pope reminded the faithful that the exchange of peace is to be done with quiet restraint, having no accompanying music and no movement away from one’s seat. The priest is not even to leave the altar, lest the source of our Communion be left unattended.

Perhaps the reason for the sobriety with which this gesture is to be exchanged lies in the definition of Christ’s peace. It is more than mere concord in a group, which can exist even among those who commit evil. Jesus says “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” If Christian worship consists only of what the world provides, then why do it?

Divine peace is the ability of a group to be united in directing their desire to one absolute good. Just before receiving Communion, then, the faithful manifest a unified desire not as the world does, but as Jesus did in the Last Supper — with charity in leaving His presence despite the impending struggle of the Passion. Loving struggle is the essence of all sobriety.

FATHER BRYAN BABICK is the vicar for Divine Worship and the Sacraments for the Diocese of Charleston. Email him at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

   

New seminarians begin their spiritual adventure

As summer winds down, three men are preparing for their own version of “back to school.”

These new seminarians will begin their studies for priesthood in the Diocese of Charleston later this month.

The men have spent the past few months working, spending time with family and friends, and preparing themselves mentally and spiritually for this immense challenge. All three said they know it will be a life changing and demanding experience but believe they are ready. They’re supported in their journey by a fraternity of 10 other seminarians.

Michael Cellars, 31, is not a novice to the seminary. He initially started studies in Ohio in 2004 but left after 18 months because he realized the time wasn’t right.

As he prepares to enter St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Cellars said he’s been praying a lot and attending Mass as often as possible.

“It’s definitely exciting, something I’ve been looking forward to a long time,” he said. “Leaving is also bittersweet because I’m leaving behind family and friends. My brother and his wife are expecting a baby and I won’t be around for the birth, for instance.

“The whole idea of dying to self has become more apparent, and that’s a good thing. Everything is all in one — the anxiety and the excitement!”

Cellars has been spending a lot of time with loved ones, including several trips to Atlanta with his father and brother to catch Braves games.

The Charleston native attends St. Mary of the Annunciation Church and is a son of Karen and Mike Cellars.

Rafael Ghattas, 28, spent the summer working long hours with many double shifts at a hotel job in the Myrtle Beach area. He helped management there train new employees in advance of his departure for seminary. To relax ,
Ghattas hit the gym for workouts and spent plenty of time in prayer and reflection. He will also study at St. Mary’s Seminary.

“I’ve been praying offering my day to God in the morning and asking Him to give me the grace to be ready for my new experience,” Ghattas said.

He wonders how he will handle the responsibility of being back in the classroom, his ability to study and to “change, to be humble and be obedient.”

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to just find more time to spend with God, to have the chance to be alone with Him and to pray more for his grace and for the Holy Spirit to change me,” Ghattas said.

He is the son of Doshra “Tony” and Sahar Ghattas of Myrtle Beach, and a member of St. Andrew Church.

Patrick Judd, 17, recently completed nine weeks in the great outdoors, working as a counselor at Camp Chosatonga, a boys’ wilderness camp near Brevard in western North Carolina.

“We spent the in the mountains and paddling on the rivers,” Judd said. “I love the outdoors so it was definitely something I enjoyed.”

After returning from camp, Judd spent the rest of his time with his family and on activities at St. Mary Help of Christians Church in Aiken, his home parish. He is a son of Derron and Alice Judd of Aiken.

Judd said he doesn’t know quite what to expect when he arrives at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, Texas.

“It’s just a very exciting time for me,” he said. “I’m excited to see what seminary is like, and to be living within a community of guys who are all pursuing Christ.”

Read more about Catholics like you by subscribing to The Catholic Miscellany

   

Page 3 of 21

Banner

Events

Banner