In today’s First Reading God commanded the newly-freed Israelites: “You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.” How can we hear these words and not think of the migrants in our own country who are threatened with deportation despite working in the United States for years with spouses and children whom they may have to leave behind? In November 2000 the Bishops of the United States published a document entitled, Welcoming the Stranger among Us: Unity in Diversity. In it they stated:
Without condoning undocumented migration, the Church supports the human rights of all people and offers them pastoral care, education, and social services, no matter what the circumstances of entry into this country, and it works for the respect of the human dignity of all—especially those who find themselves in desperate circumstances. We recognize that nations have the right to control their borders. We also recognize and strongly assert that all human persons, created as they are in the image of God, possess a fundamental dignity that gives rise to a more compelling claim to the conditions worthy of human life. Accordingly, the Church also advocates legalization opportunities for the maximum number of undocumented persons, particularly those who have built equities and otherwise contributed to their communities.
I hope that Congress can come up with a just solution by the deadline set by President Trump.
The word of God today also states: “You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.” This weekend we welcome Monsignor Joseph Hirsch to make an appeal for the support of Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II, our diocesan orphanage near Lima, Peru; and a second collection for that appeal will be taken up next weekend. This is a ministry founded by the late Father Joseph Walijewski, a great missionary priest of our diocese. Father Walijewski’s vision was to take orphaned children off the streets, give them an education, teach them a trade, form them in the faith, help them to become productive adults. Monsignor Hirsch is the current director of Casa Hogar and he will tell you the difference it makes in the lives of children who otherwise would be fending for themselves on the streets of Lima. Please respond generously to Monsignor Hirsch’s appeal. A second collection will be taken up next weekend for this cause and you may use the envelopes you receive for this purpose this weekend. Make checks payable to your parish.
This Sunday morning I have been delegated by Bishop Callahan to dedicate the new altar in Notre Dame Church. This is a unique privilege for me and it will conclude the restoration of the parish church. Was it just coincidence or divine providence that Monsignor Hirsch would be here this weekend so that I would be free to do this?
Next weekend at St. Charles we will celebrate the solemnity of our parish patron, Saint Charles Borromeo. It is also the end of daylight saving time, so be sure to turn your clocks back one hour or you will be quite the early bird on Sunday morning.
Continue to pray the rosary this week for the needs of the victims of recent natural disasters and acts of violence. Pray for the children living at Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II and for the staff there. Pray for good weather for the fall harvest and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.