Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Religious women, men support immigrant ‘brothers and sisters’

By Kristin Peterson

Representatives from the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants signed a commitment statement during a May 18 press conference in the chapel at Holy Name Cathedral. The group members committed to recruit over 10,000 prayers for comprehensive immigration reform and to make more than 6,000 contacts with federal representatives to gain their support for immigration reform.

This group of sisters, brothers and lay associates from 26 congregations formed in January, but this was their first public statement.

“Many of our congregations were founded by immigrant women and men, and reach out to all immigrants today,” said School Sister of St. Francis Kate Brenner.

This public statement came as congress was beginning to debate a new immigration reform bill. Dominican Sister Bernardine Karge called this bill “a good starting point to engage in discussion.”

Karge said that immigration reform should include a way for immigrant workers to become citizens and a way for families to stay together. In addition, the reasons for immigration should be examined. “We must address the world economy and the conditions that are causing people to leave their countries and come to the United States,” Karge said.

Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants is working for immigration reform through prayer and action. Elena Segura, director of the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform, explained that as Catholics, “prayer and action go hand in hand. We are praying, but also we are going to be making phone calls, sending e-mails, making visits.”