Saturday, May 21, 2016
San Damiano Hall
Church of St. Francis of Assisi
129 W. 31st St. New York, NY 10001
“In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners… when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our neighbor.”
Pope Francis’ speech to the US Congress, September 24, 2015
For decades, the Catholic Church and numerous congregations of women and men in the United States have made numerous declarations in support of migrants/immigrants and refugees. Various Franciscans communities are among these congregations seeking fair treatment for undocumented immigrants and refugees. These communities have united their voices with other immigrant justice advocates in pursuit of fair treatment for undocumented immigrants by calling for a revision of the unjust provisions of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
The Franciscans of the Holy Name Province and its Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Directorate, faithful to its initiative on Immigration Reform, believe that our calling is to welcome migrants/immigrants and refugees and to stand with them in their struggle for justice.
As followers of the poor man of Assisi, we recognize that migration/immigration reform and the current refugee crisis present complex challenges. These challenges often divide people of good will. We cannot remain silent and noncommittal on these issues. Our life of Gospel commitment compels us to love, to care for, and to seek justice for the “foreigners and strangers” in our midst.
In the face of these contemporary moral issues, our Franciscan voice must be raised in solidarity. Thus, the Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, in close collaboration with Holy Name Province JPIC, Franciscans International and Franciscan Action Network, is taking the initiative to organize a one-day conference entitled Franciscan Common Ground.
Franciscan Common Ground will be a one-day conference on migration held on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the San Domiano Hall in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, in New York City that seeks to engage the members of the Franciscan family, as well as lay partners in ministry, and key partner organizations and institutions, in dialogue and network-building aimed at generating a consistent, coordinated, and timely response to migration/immigration and refugee issues in the United States.