Archdiocese of Chicago

Office for Immigrant Affairs & Immigration Education
Department of Parish Life and Formation

National Migration WeekNational Migration Week

2014 Lenten Resources

Accompany your immigrant brothers and sisters during the Lenten journey -- using these resources for prayer, fasting and action:

OIA Lenten Calendar 2014 - English | Spanish

▪ Bulletin Announcements March 2014 - English | Spanish
▪ Lenten message of Pope Francis – English | Spanish
▪ Suggestions for homilists – English | Spanish
▪ Prayers and intentions for immigrants/immigration reform – English | Spanish

Holy Week Action Alert
Fast for Families Prayer List
▪ Send an e-postcard to your representative (
Lenten resolutions on behalf of immigrants

Invitation to Lenten Prayer and Fasting
▪ Way of the Cross based on Pope Francis’ Joy of the Gospel - English | Spanish
Scriptural Rosary for Immigrants

Action Alert: End Immigrant Detention Quotas!

The President’s federal budget proposal includes funding for an immigrant detention “bed quota.” The quota requires Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to have at least 30,539 immigrants in detention at any given time, denying immigrants their liberty while lining the pockets of private prisons to meet a quota that is immoral. This policy is unprecedented – no other law enforcement agency operates on a quota system.

♦ See more information on this issue

  • Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators and Representative by name
  • Call the House Members on the Committee on Appropriations – see list

Sample Script: My name is _____ calling from [city, state].  As a person of faith, I urge Congress member [name] to oppose the wasteful and inhumane immigration detention bed quota in any appropriations bill.

Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants Presents:
"Make Straight the Pathway: The Rough Road to
Immigration Reform"


Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS Executive Director of NETWORK

to reflect on:

  • The call to face the current facts of immigrations reform.
  • The call to move immigration reform forward.
  • The call to improve the lives of our immigrant brothers and sisters.

May 17, 2014

More Information
Registration Form

National Migration Week National Migration Week

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

40-Day Plus Campaign of Prayer, Fasting & Action for Congress until the Vote will begin on August 15th

During the last couple of weeks, immigration reform has returned to the table as a key issue of discussion, especially as President Obama expressed his desire to have it passed. With support growing from Republican leaders in the House for H.R. 15 we need to remind our Representatives that immigration reform isn't a partisan issue but a moral one that affects our communities. As we enter into these crucial months we ask that, as a community, we continue to pray, fast and act until the vote in the House.

In the coming weeks there will be numerous actions at the Chicago and National level. On November 13, the feast day of St. Frances Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants, there will be a national call in day organized by the USCCB Justice for Immigrants. On December 12, for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, pilgrims in the Chicago area will come together to honor her and pray for CIR. And on December 20, we will have the traditional Posada in the Loop.

November 7 letter from Cardinal Dolan (USCCB President) to House Speaker Boehner urging passage of CIR legislation

Prayer Resource


Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. – Romans 12:12

We invite you to pray daily with the numerous parishes and religious communities that have committed to pray until Congress votes on immigration reform. During this time of legislative inaction, we live in the hope and will continue the journey toward compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform.

Join your voice to the thousands of Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago praying God of the Journey and Petitions for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Use the following prayers in your daily mediations:
- Prayer for Immigration Reform
- Prayer for Migrants and Refugees
- Immigration through the Lens of Faith

Use the following prayer services in your families and parish groups:
- Prayer for Just and Humane Immigration Reform
- Prayer Service for Immigrants from Latin America
- “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”

Additional Resources:

- Message Of His Holiness Pope Francis For The World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2014) (English | Spanish)
- 2013 NMW Prayer Card
- Our Lady of Guadalupe SUGERENCIAS PARA HOMILISTAS (Spanish)
- Sample Intercessions
- Pilgrimage Reflection, Sr. JoAnn Persch (English)
- Migrants and Refugees: Toward a Better World
- Words on Immigrant Justice, Hope and Solidarity: Excerpts from Scripture and Church Leaders (English | Spanish)
- Oraciones de los Fieles (Spanish)
- Dios de la Jornada (Spanish)
- Prayer Options (English | Spanish)

Fasting Resources


Fasting, whether abstaining from food, drink or other forms of self-denial, creates a spiritual pathway for turning away from sin. In addition to traditional forms of fasting, we are can engage in activities that create a right relationship with God.

Engage in the spiritual discipline of fasting that justice may reign in our country, be proclaimed in our communities and overflow in our hearts.

Below are several fasting options:

- Raise awareness for comprehensive immigration reform by donating Coats for Immigrant Detainees.
- Fasting Options (English | Spanish)
- Fasting Resources

Action Resources


Actions such as Pilgrimages and congressional visits are ways that we can give public witness for our support for comprehensive immigration reform. Engage in the following actions:

11 Days for 11 Million: Prayer and Action for Immigration Reform

Attend the Office for Immigrant Affairs' Posada on Friday, December 20, 2013. More details to follow.

Send a message to your legislator supporting just and compassionate immigration reform.

Contact your legislator using the following guidelines:

- Call-In Day, November 13
- CIR Call-In Sheet, November 1
- CIR Call-In Sheet, October 21
- CIR Call-In Sheet, October 7
- 5 Actions for CIR
- Call in Alerts (English | Spanish)
- CIR Call In Sheet
- Petition (English | Spanish)
- Social Media Tips (English | Spanish)

Parish Map (for reference) – See the map for Parish events during the campaign.

Cardinal Francis George’s Support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Cardinal George

Letter in Support of the 40-Day Campaign of Prayer, Fasting & Action for Congress
English - Spanish - Polish

Cardinal’s Column: Reforming Immigration Laws
English - Spanish

Church statements on immigrants/immigration reform

July 8 Pope Francis Homily on Immigrants [English | Spanish | Polish]
April 11 Cardinal George Statement on Immigration Reform [English | Spanish]
June 27 USCCB Statement on Passage in the Senate [English | Spanish]
June 24 Priests for Justice for Immigrants' Statement [English | Spanish]
June 10 What's at Stake in the Debate, by Archbishop Gomez [English | Spanish]

USCCB Justice for Immigrants Resources

ACT NOW! Contact Members of Congress through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters. Message: Please pass bipartisan immigration reform legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship and preserves family unity.

- To send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress; go to USCCB website
- Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask for your Members' offices. For more info, go to

Talking points to Representatives
ACCU letter to all Congress (signatories included 93 Catholic university presidents)
Talking points – Family Unity
Economic benefits

Priests/Parish Toolkit

Bulletin insert
Homily suggestions
Pulpit announcement
CIR & Justice for Immigrants backgrounder
USCCB Elements for a Just Immigration Reform Proposal (English | Spanish)
USCCB Family Immigration Principles (English | Spanish)
USCCB Response to Senate Immigration Framework (English | Spanish)
Q&A Regarding the Catholic Church's Position on Immigration

Printed Postcard Campaign

More than 150 local parishes have collected 100,000 printed postcards
expressing support for immigration reform!

On Monday June 17th, 40,000 of the Senator postcards were delivered to Senator Mark Kirk's office by a delegation of leaders of our various networks, who also provided a letter for Senator Kirk requesting a meeting with him to dialogue on the immigration reform issue and a response to the five core principles for comprehensive immigration reform outlined by the U.S. Catholic bishops. Senator Kirk's response is requested by Monday June 24th.

         Watch Youtube video - Prayer & blessing prior to delivery of these postcards

         Watch Youtube video - Reading of the letter for Senator Kirk

We ask these parishes to prepare to deliver Congressional postcards in late August 2013 as a parish community. Mid-August is when we anticipate Congress to act on any immigration legislation based on the legislative calendar.

Meanwhile, send an electronic postcard NOW - Senators and Representatives need to hear the support of your parish!

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) —
Pilot Sessions & Resources

August 15, 2012 marked the first day to apply for deferred action through the process which the United States Citizenship Information Services (USCIS) refers to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). August 15 was not the only day or the last day to apply.

The Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education, in collaboration with Catholic Charities and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC), is currently in planning and preparation to assist potential DACA applicants with the application process. In September, we will be conducting a couple pilot sessions, and after this experience we may expand services to designated parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Stay tuned to this webpage for updates, or for more info contact Marilu Gonzalez (312-534-8103) or William Becerra (312-534-8111).

Meanwhile, we encourage potential DACA applicants to visit the following websites (all are bilingual and offer free resources):

  • - Resources from USCIS that clarify the DACA process and required evidence, including frequently asked questions (FAQ), a “how to” guide, filing forms, etc.
  • - A self-assessment tool from the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) for helping determine potential eligibility for the DACA process.
  • - Information from the Own the DREAM Campaign on DACA workshops, which is also available by calling their toll-free hotline 1-885-DREAM-31.
  • - Resources from CLINIC related to DACA including community education materials, screening forms, and links to relevant DHS materials, etc. For consultation contact Catholic Charities at 312-427-7078.

Light a Candle for the DREAM Act

The DREAM Act represents a compassionate immigration solution that respects the dignity of young immigrants living in our communities and attending U.S. high schools.

You can support these young immigrants by sending an electronic postcard to your Senators and Representative and by lighting a candle for the DREAM Act.

Weekly Friday, 7:15 am Prayer Vigil
to end deportations and for Immigration Reform
(Every first Friday is an interfaith prayer vigil)

Broadview Immigrant Detention Center
1930 S. Beach St., Broadview, IL
 Vigil will be outside this building

(Car pooling is encouraged, please watch signs for appropriate parking)

DREAMS of Justice

Parishes Praying for Immigration Reform

Find a parish near you that offers a Mass, adoration or rosary on an ongoing basis

Volunteer Opportunity
Become an "Immigration Parish Coordinator"

Serve as the liaison between your parish and the Office for Immigrant Affairs
Announcement and reply form


I would like to welcome you to our new Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education which was built as a result of our archdiocese’s respond to the call of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’Justice for Immigrants – Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform launched in June 2005.  Our office combines the efforts of the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform and the Pastoral Migratoria.  Together we will continue to work as God’s disciples in collaboration with civil, government and other religious groups by supporting the life and dignity of each member of God’s family, especially the immigrant.  Our focus is to work in three steps:

  1. Educate Catholics and the general public to understand the dignity of every immigrant as a human being and to recognize the benefits of immigrants and immigration to our nation; and to educate the undocumented community to safeguard their basic civil rights and family unit.
  2. Advocate for compassionate comprehensive Immigration reform (using the principles of the U.S. Catholic bishops), and for humane treatment of immigrant detainees and deportees.
  3. Empower immigrants to help their own communities through ministries of service,  leadership formation, and justice actions implementing and coordinating Pastoral Migratoria(immigrant to immigrant ministry) in clusters of immigrant parishes with lay leadership teams.


God’s family is neither complete nor authentic until all human persons are living in safety, in dignity, and in community.  Let us be that welcoming and empowering community, enlightened by understanding and compassion, working to bring about justice for all…on earth as it is in heaven.

May our God of justice, compassion and peace bless you in your interest in our ministry.


Elena Segura

" For I was a stranger and you welcomed me." (Matthew 25:35).


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