Dear Friends and Supporters of Catholic Charities:
By now you've probably heard about President Trump's Executive Order which suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. We are sorry to say that this means the agency will probably not resettle any refugees until the fall, when the next federal fiscal year begins.
The support for our resettlement office has been very positive. Parishes, families and community organizations have been enthusiastic in their willingness to sponsor and mentor a refugee household. We know you share our disappointment for this delay.
This Order has serious consequences for families in our country and around the world. When a refugee family's case has been approved, they will commonly dispose of most of their possessions in preparation for the journey. Louisville Catholic Charities, for example, had over 390 individuals preparing to travel to Kentucky in the coming weeks and months. I can only imagine the anxiety these people must now feel.
Nationally, resettlement offices such as Kentucky Refugee Ministries and Catholic Charities of Louisville are faced with figuring out how to cover employee expenses without funding for the next four months. Staff persons are understandably worried about job security. These uncertainties, although small in comparison to the refugee's reality, are stressful and disconcerting.
Although many people in our country are feeling powerless we know that ultimately it is God who leads every aspect of our work. We hope that you will join us in praying for all those who are impacted by this order.
Lord Jesus, today you call us to welcome the members of God's family who come to our land to escape oppression, poverty, persecution, violence, and war. Like your disciples, we too are filled with fear and doubt and even suspicion. We build barriers in our hearts and in our minds.
Lord Jesus, help us by your grace,
To banish fear from our hearts, that we may embrace each of your children as our own brother and sister;
To welcome migrants and refugees with joy and generosity, while responding to their many needs;
To realize that you call all people to your holy mountain to learn the ways of peace and justice;
To share of our abundance as you spread a banquet before us;
To give witness to your love for all people, as we celebrate the many gifts they bring.
We praise you and give you thanks for the family you have called together from so many people. We see in this human family a reflection of the divine unity of the one Most Holy Trinity in whom we make our prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.