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Bridges, September 13, 2019

CATHOLIC NON-VIOLENT ACTION

On September 4th, I shared in a hope-filled experience with over 400 people in a Catholic Non-Violent Action for Immigrant Children in Newark, New Jersey.

The call throughout the event was to end the abuse, trauma, and detention of migrant children and was echoed in prayer, ritual, and a call to action by Catholic leaders. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, accompanied the group through the whole experience from St. Mary’s Church, through the streets of Newark, to the Federal ICE office.

STOP THE INHUMANITY!! Catholic organizations are organizing a nonviolent campaign to end the traumatizing abuse of immigrant children and their families by the U.S. government. The campaign was launched on July 18th in Washington DC. The Newark event was the 2nd phase of the campaign held in New Jersey which has 4 immigration detention centers, incarcerating as many as 2,500 people. While no children are in these facilities, the parents who have been separated from their children at the southern border are.

It was an experience of standing together with people of faith and hope (college students, lay women and men, religious of different communities, diocesan/community priests) sharing the outrage we have all felt, seeing the images of immigrant children detained in cages, separated from family, and living in unhealthy/unsanitary conditions. Because of the urgency and depth of the injustice there was opportunity for those who discern to engage in nonviolent action of civil disobedience. (Over 50 people prepared to do this but the Newark police were overwhelmed by that number and only 6 people were arrested.)

Let us continue to pray and to use our voices for all people, especially those who are most at risk, our children.

- Sr. Kathleen Scanlon, RJM

(photo taken from “Cardinal Tobin joins hundreds of Catholics protesting immigration detention”, by Rhina Guidos in 9/4/19 issue of America The Jesuit Review.)

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