Faithful urged to pray for immigrants on feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The bishops of the United States are urging Catholics to dedicate Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to prayer for the plight of immigrants and refugees, according to a statement from the U.S. bishops’ conference.

“As Christmas approaches, and especially on this feast of Our Lady, we are reminded of how our savior Jesus Christ was not born in the comfort of his own home, but rather in an unfamiliar manger,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and newly elected president of the conference. “To all those families separated and far from home in uncertain times, we join with you in a prayer for comfort and joy this Advent season.”

Catholics are invited to offer prayers wherever they may be, particularly the rosary.

A Scriptural rosary is available here

“So many families are wondering how changes to immigration policy might impact them,” added Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, and vice-president of the conference. “We want them to know the Church is with them, offers prayers on their behalf, and is actively monitoring developments at the diocesan, state, and national levels to be an effective advocate on their behalf.”

A booklet of prayers for migrants is available here

Photo caption: Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day events and procession Dec. 14, 2014 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Denver. Photo by Dan Petty/Denver Catholic

COMING UP: Letter from the bishops of the Archdiocese of Denver to the immigrant Hispanic community

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Dear brothers and sisters in Christ in the immigrant Hispanic community:

We know that the outcome of the elections this week has raised concerns and fear among some in the Hispanic community, especially for our immigrant brothers and sisters. As your bishops, we want to express our solidarity and affection for you and invite you to trust in God. He is a providential Father and will take care of all of us the same way he protected Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary when they had to migrate to Egypt, carrying their newborn in their arms. The Hispanic Catholics who have migrated to the United States, often under similarly dangerous circumstances, are a gift to our Church and our country.

Certainly, some statements made during the election campaign about the future of the Hispanic immigrant community are worrisome. At the same time, it is important to realize that our Government is not run by one person, but has a system of checks and balances. We also know that the United States of America is a country founded by immigrants on the principles of freedom, respect and opportunity for all. It is also composed of many men and women who share these great human values and possess good hearts. We want to assure you that the Church of northern Colorado is with you and will continue to advocate for these values by pursuing comprehensive immigration reform. A reform that should have happened years ago.

When the people of Latin America were going through moments of insecurity and enduring much loss, God sent his Mother to comfort his ‘’youngest children.” On that occasion at Tepeyac, the Virgin Mary said, “Listen and let it penetrate your heart. Do not be distressed, my littlest son. Let not your heart be troubled … Am I not here, with you, I who am your Mother?”

We ask our Lord that these words from our Mother will now resonate strongly in the heart of our Hispanic community and fill you with strength, confidence, hope, and peace. We also ask that our leaders take to heart the truth that all people – regardless of their status – are God’s children. We entrust you, our leaders, and our archdiocese to Our Lady of Guadalupe, knowing in faith that she is our loving mother.

With our prayers and blessing,
Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Jorge Rodríguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver