National Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers

(2/27/18, Washington, DC) Sr. Marie Chiodo, DW was among over 200 gathered at Capitol Hill on the lawn outside the Russell Senate Office Building to participate in the National Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers. The call was to Catholic Legislators to fight for justice for Dreamers and all immigrants through a clean Dream Act. Drawing a diverse crowd of supporters, “Dreamers, laity, sisters, priests, and a Kentucky Bishop prayed together and shared the message of the Gospel’s call to act for justice for Dreamers and their families. For the Dreamers, this country is the only country they know from their earliest years. They now have been educated, are raising families, work hard and are law abiding. This is not a political issue - the fate of the Dreamers is a moral issue that our elected officials cannot ignore. Time is running out.” said Sr. Marie.

The crowd processed in the unity of prayer, song and mission to the rotunda where they chanted “This is holy ground. We're standing on holy ground. For our God is present and where God is, is holy.” There, after prayer and witness, their mission was complete with 24 Catholic sisters and 36 lay leaders and clergy arrested for peaceful, non-violent demonstrations. “Their civil disobedience was a witness to their commitment to stand in solidarity with the Dreamers and speak the truth to power in our nation's Capitol,” said Sr. Marie. Among those arrested were former SEW Board member Sr. Patti Ann Rogucki, who spends four months of the year ministering among the poor in El Salvador and Sr. Ann Curtis, Leader of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

What can you do to support Dreamers and a Clean Dream Act? “Call, email, or write your legislators in the name of the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching and urge them to work on comprehensive immigration legislation for our sisters, brothers and their families caught in this tangled web affecting so many lives. And pray that together we can effect change, becoming once again a nation that opens its doors and heart to immigrants - much as those doors and hearts were opened to our ancestors - for, after all, all of us were immigrants to these shores,” says Sr. Marie.


Pictured, top left: (L-R) Sr. Ann Marie Gardiner, SSND and Sr. Marie Chiodo, DW at the National Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers gathering.

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."