"...parishes are strengthened, unified, and revitalized."
With a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the Interfaith Education Fund piloted a program in fall of 2016 called Recognizing the Stranger, a multiyear regional approach to the immigration issue, in seven southwestern dioceses.
This year, it is expanding into 19 dioceses across the west and southwest US. Says Senior IAF Organizer Joe Rubio, "The Recognizing the Stranger strategy works with local parishes to identify, train, and mentor immigrant leaders to build connections among themselves and with nonimmigrant allies in their parishes and the broader community. It’s a collaborative effort among clergy, leaders, and organizers to develop capacity to tackle tough issues."
According to CCHD Director Ralph McCloud, "Recognizing the Stranger is particularly successful because it captures the connections between what happens at Mass on Sunday morning, how families live their lives throughout the week, and how parishioners interact with members of the broader community. I have been impressed that participants seek true change. In the process, parishes are strengthened, unified, and revitalized."
Click links below for local stories of parish work and additional details about the strategy.
Program Trains Leaders to Put Faith into Action, Texas Catholic - Dallas
Milestones: Catholic Campaign, TMO Offers Leadership Training for Hispanic Parishioners, Texas Catholic Herald - Houston
Parish IDs Bring Relief to Immigrant Community, Dallas Catholic Magazine
ID Parroquiales Traen Alivio a Comunidad Inmigrante, Revista Católica de Dallas