Thanksgiving message: USCCB president decries immigration policies, offers gratitude for gift of immigrants

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), offers a Thanksgiving Day message to the nation with special gratitude for the gift of immigrants and refugees:

As we do every year, we will pause this coming Thursday to thank God for the many blessings we enjoy in the United States. My brother bishops and I, gathered last week in Baltimore, were attentive in a special way to those who are often excluded from this great abundance—the poor, the sick, the addicted, the unborn, the unemployed, and especially migrants and refugees.

My brothers expressed a shared and ever-greater sense of alarm—and urgency to act—in the face of policies that seemed unthinkable only a short time ago: the deportation of Dreamers, young hard-working people who should be the lowest priority for deportation; the anxiety and uncertainty of those with Temporary Protected Status from countries like Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras, which are still recovering from natural disasters and remain ill-equipped to humanely receive and integrate them; and an unprecedented reduction in the number of people we will welcome this year into our country who seek refuge from the ravages of war and religious persecution in their countries of origin.

One common feature of all these developments is their tendency to tear apart the family, the fundamental building block of our, or any, society. These threats to so many vulnerable immigrant and refugee families must end now. My brothers have urged me to speak out on their behalf to urge the immediate passage—and signature—of legislation that would alleviate these immediate threats to these families.

“Another common feature of these policies is that they are symptoms of an immigration system that is profoundly broken and requires comprehensive reform.”

Another common feature of these policies is that they are symptoms of an immigration system that is profoundly broken and requires comprehensive reform. This is a longer-term goal, one that the bishops have advocated for decades to achieve, and one that must never be overlooked. Only by complete reform will we have the hope of achieving the common goals of welcoming the most vulnerable, ensuring due process and humane treatment, protecting national security, and respecting the rule of law. We are committed to such reforms and will continue to call for them.

So this year, I give thanks for the gift and contributions of immigrants and refugees to our great nation. I also pray that next year, families now under threat will not be broken and dispersed, but instead will be united in joy around their tables, giving thanks for all the blessings our nation has to offer.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving all!

http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-225.cfm

Guadalupe Apartments provide ‘a home with a coach’ to homeless, low-income

Denver Catholic, Oct. 30, 2017 – Thanks to Catholic Charities’ newly opened Guadalupe Apartments, this winter will be the first in seven that Christopher Llamas won’t be homeless.

“January 1 would have been the first day of the eighth year,” the 26-year-old told the Denver Catholic. “I lived under bridges and anywhere else I could find cover.”

Now he has a fully furnished studio apartment and supportive services to address the issues that led to his homelessness, which he said was trouble keeping a job due to cognitive disabilities suffered from shaken baby syndrome.

“I’m so grateful,” Llamas said about his recently acquired home. “To be able to stay warm in winter is awesome. … It’s a chance to get adjusted to normal life.”

Llamas was among some 125 people including Guadalupe Apartment residents, affordable housing leaders, stakeholders and government officials attending the Oct. 27 grand opening of Weld County’s first large-scale permanent supportive housing complex.

Located at 1520 N. 11th Ave. in Greeley, Guadalupe Apartments aims to give low-income and homeless individuals and families a path to housing stability.

“This isn’t just an apartment building,” Justin Raddatz, executive director of Archdiocesan Housing Inc., an arm of Catholic Charities, told the Denver Catholic. “It’s a home with a coach.”

The $13.5 million Guadalupe Apartments consists of 47 studio, one- and two-bedroom furnished units that combine non-time-limited affordable housing assistance with onsite supportive services, including case management, mental health assessments, and employment resources.

Home with a coach: Catholic Archdiocese of Denver team helps remove barriers to skills, jobs, medical care

“The case managers purpose is to serve the residents and remove the barriers that are blocking them from achieving their goals—from needing medical referrals to learning Microsoft Word to get a job,” Raddatz said. “That’s what the Archdiocesan Housing team provides to all the residents free of charge.”

Read the full story: http://denvercatholic.org/catholic-charities-opens-first-permanent-supportive-housing-weld-county/

Blessing of Thanksgiving food, Larimer County Food Bank donations

Larimer County Food Bank donations - December 2016 - St. Joseph Catholic School.
Larimer County Food Bank donations – December 2016 – from St. Joseph Catholic School.

Bring your own Thanksgiving food — breads, pastry or wine and gifts for the Food Bank — to be blessed during the Mass of Thanksgiving, 9:00 a.m., Thursday, November 23.

You are invited to place your bread or pastry and your wine or juice for your Thanksgiving table on Mary’s Altar prior to Mass. Father will bless these after Communion.

Father will also bless your gift of food for the Food Bank of Larimer County. Please keep Food Bank items in your pew until the Offertory Procession. Ushers will help direct you with this procession. If you prefer to give a monetary contribution to the Food Bank, we will provide a collection basket.

Thanksgiving food blessing, office closures, schedule changes

Please note that there is only one Mass on Thanksgiving Day, and one Mass only, at 9 a.m., on Friday, November 24. There are no scheduled Confessions these two days. Incense will be used at the Mass of Thanksgiving.
Parish offices and Saint Joseph Catholic School will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Also, there will be no Middle School Youth Group on Wednesday, Nov. 22, no SoulCore on Thursday, Nov. 23, and no Elementary Religious Education on Sunday, Nov. 26. High School Youth Group will have a Social Night on Sunday, Nov. 26. Have a blessed holiday!

Remember to visit our Jesse Tree and help make Christmas happier for someone in need: http://www.stjosephfc.org/jesse-tree-catholic-charities/