CLINTON — A public, interfaith prayer service focused on the need for comprehensive immigration reform is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, at The Canticle, the home of the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton.
“We are joining with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) — a partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting fair and humane immigration reform that reflects our mandate to welcome the stranger and treat all human beings with dignity and respect,” explained Sister Joan Theiss, OSF, of The Canticle Liturgy Committee, which is coordinating the service.
“We are especially pleased that Sister Mary McCauley, BVM, Dubuque, will be with us to lead our reflection on this critical issue,” Sr. Theiss said.
Sr. McCauley was the pastoral minister at St. Bridget Parish in Postville on May 12, 2008, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials conducted what was at that time the largest, single workplace raid in history. A total of 389 persons were detained, many arrested and deported, and countless families were separated.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) introduced reform legislation in December, and the Obama administration reiterated its commitment to take up this issue early this year. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has indicated that he will introduce a bill in the Senate soon.
This a crucial time for faith communities to send Congress a strong message of support for immigrant families and immigration reform, according to IIC. “We know that work for fair, humane immigration reform is only beginning,” said Sr. Theiss. “We will gather on Feb. 10 to pray, listen, learn and discuss the complex aspects of this issue and what citizens can best do to help ensure meaningful reform.”
The event is being organized by the Clinton Franciscan Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking, which has also invited representatives of Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Iowa 1st District Congressman Bruce Braley to attend. The public is invited and parking is available around The Canticle.
For more information, call (563) 242-7611. Driving directions are available at www.clintonfranciscans.com.