Skip to comments.Putting faith in search for rights [Catholic "Immigration Mass" in Chicago, IL]
Posted on 06/11/2007 6:31:29 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Maria Alvarez and Jeanette Hernandez believe that no matter where they worship, where they work or how they got to America, the Roman Catholic Church calls on them to bear each other's burdens.
To do her part, Hernandez, a parishioner at Our Lady of Mercy parish in Albany Park, persuaded a number of undocumented immigrants to share their names and personal details on postcards so other parishioners could lend their voices to plead their case.
After 30 years of factory work and raising four children in the U.S., Alvarez, an undocumented parishioner at Epiphany Church, filled out a postcard hoping someone will be moved when they see her name.
More than 30,000 postcards were collected Sunday when Hernandez, Alvarez and hundreds of other Chicago-area Catholics solemnly marched together through the Bucktown neighborhood to show their solidarity and support for immigrants' rights. Taking place on the Feast of Corpus Christi, the procession followed a week of political wrangling on Capitol Hill that stymied what could have been the most comprehensive legislation in decades.
"What the feast celebrates is our unity in Christ," said Rev. Larry Dowling, the head of Priests for Justice for Immigrants, a network of 130 priests in Chicago. "It really is a prime time to say we receive this fullness of Christ, and we ourselves are trying to realize the fullness of what God calls us to do."
Cardinal Francis George welcomed the throngs of faithful at St. Stanislaus Kostka, calling for more prayers from parishioners and action from legislators.
"We gather today because the unity we seek is violated and threatened by civil policies that ignore the God-given human rights of immigrants," George said. "The legislation before Congress is far from perfect, but it does provide a framework to move forward."
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...