A Community Coming Together

Firstly I’d like to start off by saying that I am not religious. I don’t attend church and I’ve never read the Bible. However, when I decided on a college to attend, I chose one that is Marianist. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a Christian offshoot that was founded in the early 1800’s that prides themselves on inclusion and helping their communities.  While I didn’t have the most wonderful time my freshman year, I chose to return to the college to finish out my degree and I’m so happy I did.  The second time around was amazing and I time in my life I wouldn’t trade for the world.

With everything political going on right now my university sent this email out to students and staff and I find this extremely well thought out and makes me proud to be part of this community.

Faculty, staff and students:

Over the past week, there has been a flood of reaction including on our campus in response to the Executive Order concerning U.S. immigration policy. I’m writing to share my and the University’s leadership council’s position on this issue.

The University’s Catholic, Marianist and Native Hawaiian identity continually guide us. We hold ourselves to the commitment of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference and ask the same of all members of the campus community.

Their statement of January 30 is as follows:

From Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB

Over the past several days, many brother bishops have spoken out in defense of God’s people. We are grateful for their witness. Now, we call upon all the Catholic faithful to join us as we unite our voices with all who speak in defense of human dignity.

The bond between Christians and Muslims is founded on the unbreakable strength of charity and justice. The Second Vatican Council in Nostra Aetate urged us to sincerely work toward a mutual understanding that would “promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.” The Church will not waver in her defense of our sisters and brothers of all faiths who suffer at the hands of merciless persecutors.

The refugees fleeing from ISIS and other extremists are sacrificing all they have in the name of peace and freedom. Often, they could be spared if only they surrendered to the violent vision of their tormentors. They stand firm in their faith. Many are families, no different from yours or mine, seeking safety and security for their children. Our nation should welcome them as allies in a common fight against evil. We must screen vigilantly for infiltrators who would do us harm, but we must always be equally vigilant in our welcome of friends.

The Lord Jesus fled the tyranny of Herod, was falsely accused and then deserted by his friends. He had nowhere to lay His head (Lk. 9:58). Welcoming the stranger and those in flight is not one option among many in the Christian life. It is the very form of Christianity itself. Our actions must remind people of Jesus. The actions of our government must remind people of basic humanity. Where our brothers and sisters suffer rejection and abandonment we will lift our voice on their behalf. We will welcome them and receive them. They are Jesus and the Church will not turn away from Him.

Our desire is not to enter the political arena, but rather to proclaim Christ alive in the world today. In the very moment a family abandons their home under threat of death, Jesus is present. And He says to each of us, “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (MT 25:40).

 I encourage you to keep those affected in your prayers.

So in closing, just remember that everyone is someone’s brother, sister, son, father, daughter, or mother.  We are all allowed to live without fear of persecution or hate.  We must always strive to love others and bring light where there is darkness.

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