The Archdiocese of Philadelphia invites everyone to a prayer service for justice for immigrants and refugees at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 19 at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput will lead the Evening Prayer liturgy and offer his remarks. In his latest column on CatholicPhilly.com, the archbishop addressed the issue of welcome for new arrivals in the United States and the need for comprehensive reform of the immigration system.
Because of immigrants’ fear of detention and deportation, he wrote that many of them might avoid coming to the prayer service that is intended to show them the church’s support.
The archbishop urged all Catholic citizens and legal residents in the region to attend the liturgy to show fraternity and concern for the immigrant community.
By participation in the prayer service, people can respond to the plight of immigrants in parishes and communities in the archdiocese in three ways, according to a statement from the archdiocese March 17.
It called on Catholics to understand the challenges immigrants face each day and know the Church’s position in support of just immigration reform.
Catholics are also urged to write to their representatives and senators in Congress to push for support of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ immigration reform campaign, “Justice for Immigrants,” and to bring their concerns for justice before God in personal prayer.
For those unable to attend the prayer service, the archdiocese will stream it live from the cathedral on archphila.org.
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Sorry, I cannot and will not support people entering our country illegally. If one arrives in the U.S. here legally, like my grandparents did nearly 100 years ago, then there is nothing to fear. I am not sure why we as Catholics are being asked to support wrongdoing.