Interfaith Pilgrimage to Support Immigrant Youth Facing Deportation
Sr. Ann Gray, JPIC Chair
On Sunday, November 12, 2017, with blue skies and brilliant sunlight, over 150 gathered as one voice to urge our Congress to pass a clean Dream Act to secure a future for those who have come to be known as the Dreamers.
Six Congregations of Women Religious from the Rockville Centre Diocese, and members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious joined in fellowship with members of Grace Episcopal Church, the Islamic Center of Long Island, the Turkish Cultural Center, and Long Island Jobs with Justice. Opening reflections shared one thought: that all faith communities found President Trump’s rescinding of the Dream Act to be a “reprehensible act.”
Fr. Bill Brisotti, the pastor of a parish in Wyandanch, played a song on his ukelele depicting the Dreamers as possessing a fire in their hearts that must not be put out.
And so inspired, all moved through the streets of Massapequa to gather before the office of Congressman Peter King who has shown support of the young immigrant through his sponsorship of the RAC act. However, now we are asking him to take the one step that matters: ensuring a path to citizenship for the Dreamer, one that does not have conditions or puts in jeopardy members of their families. Over 900 letters have been written on behalf of the Dreamers to Congressman King and will be presented to him this week.
Gathered before the Congressman’s office, testimony was given showing how the immigrant provides billions of dollars in revenue to our economy; and that we will, no matter what, stand with our brothers and sisters–the Immigrants–that we– or our ancestors once were.
The pilgrimage ended with Fr. Brisotti’s performance of the Woody Guthrie Song “Deportees.” The song commemorated an event that took place 70 years ago. The government was deporting workers back to Mexico by plane when it crashed. All aboard died. Their names were never published, they were only known as the Deportees.
Minds and hearts echoed the same refrain: Never Again
Daughters of Wisdom Sr. Catherine Sheehan, Sr. Ann Gray and Sr. Bernadette Sassone were among the 150 who participated in the Interfaith March in support of legislation to allow those brought here illegally as children to remain in the US. Coordinated by Long Island Jobs with Justice more than a dozen congregations and organizations walked from Grace Episcopal Church in Massapequa to Rep. Peter King's office calling on him to support a clean "Dream Act" that would restore protections under the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA).
Honest Conversations with Muslim Neighbors
This past weekend (2/18/17) Sr. Rosemarie Greco, DW participated in “Honest Conversations with Muslim Neighbors” an event cosponsored by Hartford Seminary, the CT Council for Interreligious Understanding and the Muslim Coalition of CT. The event, hosted by The Islamic Association of Greater Hartford in Berlin, CT, was held in the Berlin Mosque and intended to promote a more peaceful world for everyone through open conversation. Sr. Rosemarie commented on her experience, "The event enabled us to ask questions of concern to many of us. Several were related to recent misinformation about the Muslim Community. We hold so many similar values based on our commitment to the God of Abraham and Sarah. We need to verify what we hear about our neighbors. This event was a good start."