Colorado IAF Holds 3-day Training for Leadership

Hosted by Our Lady Mother of the Church, leaders participated in IAF leadership development training in Colorado.

St. Leonard Leaders Hold 'Human and Spiritual Development' Assembly in San Antonio

COPS/Metro leaders from St. Leonard Catholic Church organized a "Human and Spiritual Development" Assembly in which seventy-five (75) parishioners attended and participated in small group conversations about the role of the church in their lives.

St. Leonard's joined COPS/Metro after several leaders participated in CCHD-sponsored Spanish Leadership Training.  Leaders who participated in that training organized this assembly.

Civic Academy on Immigration Draws 100 Faithful in Central California

On Pentecost, St. Mary’s by-the-Sea and La Iglesia de San Pablo Apostol Episcopal Churches sponsored a 'Gathering of Immigrants' which drew 100 parishioners from the two congregations, as well as guests from All Saints Episcopal Church in Carmel.  Participants met over lunch to share a piece of their families’ immigration story and to listen to each other.  St. Mary’s in Pacific Grove is home to many English-speaking retirees, while San Pablo’s in Seaside is made up of first-generation Spanish-speaking immigrants. The event was co-chaired by Father Martin Juarez, from San Pablo’s and Kirsten Matsumoto from St. Mary’s.  Click below for full report.

A Gathering of Immigrants by Jack Herbig

Photo Album

Austin Civic Academy on Zoning Overhaul & Housing Agitates

Hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Austin Interfaith Affordable Housing Team, a civic academy on codeNEXT (a proposed overhaul of the city's zoning code) drew 120 mostly East Austin residents to learn, share housing stories and identify opportunities for concrete action before the City Council votes on it.  

Photo Album Here 

Dallas Parish ID Strategy Is In Full Swing, Protecting Families and Rebuilding Churches

Building on a groundbreaking accord between Dallas Area Interfaith (DAI) and the Police Departments of Dallas, Carrollton and Farmers Branch -- in which the police agreed to accept parish identification cards as alternative ID -- upwards of 800 parish ID cards have been issued since the campaign was launched four weeks ago.  With some parishes requiring active membership from applicants for at least six months before issuing the card, the waiting list of submitted applications has, so far, exceeded 2,000 applicants and is expected to grow.

This joint effort with the Catholic Diocese is bringing immigrants out of the shadows and into fuller participation in congregational life.  700 applicants were newly registered as members of their parish, even after years of regular church attendance.  Teams of leaders identified by DAI, and trained (in Spanish) through a collaborative effort with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and the Interfaith Education Fund, are helping keep the cost of the parish IDs affordable for families.

Without an ID, said one parishioner, "we are scared of what could happen if we are stopped by the police." With parish ID, families are feeling a greater sense of belonging and confidence in dealing with law enforcement.

In training sessions held this month, police departments have committed to training their officers to recognize these cards as alternative identification.

[Photo Credit: Telemundo 39]

Crean Identificación Para Ayudar a Inmigrantes en el Metroplex, Telemundo 39 [pdf]

Additional Background

Catholic Citizenship Drive Grows Outside Dallas

One hundred sixty-six Legal Permanent Residents participated in a citizenship workshop organized by Arlington Mansfield Organizing Strategy (AMOS) and Catholic Charities of Dallas in which they obtained legal advice about their individual cases. 

Hosted by St. Joseph Catholic Church in Arlington, Texas, this workshop is part of a larger effort to prepare over 1,000 long-term residents to become US citizens and become engaged in public life.    

50 Santa Catalina Parishioners Participate in Listening Session in Southern Arizona

Fifty members of Santa Catalina organized a listening session, and two rounds of house meetings, with their pastor, Fr. Larry Sanders, C.SsR.  In the conversations, stories emerged about the opioid crisis, education, immigration, and family issues. The session was hosted and facilitated by the parish council which plans to work with Fr. Larry to address the issues raised.

Los Angeles Leaders Bridge Partisan Divide in Immigration Summit

As part of an effort to build a constituency that supports immigration reform, Temple Emanuel hosted Immigration: Moving Beyond the Partisan Divide with special participation from Rabbi Sarah Bassin, Bishop David O'Connell, Shukry Cattan of the Tiyya Foundation, and the Industrial Areas Foundation National Co-Director, Ernesto Cortes, Jr.

Conference attendees discussed moral and economic arguments in support of immigration, and highlighted local efforts to support immigrants and refugees.  A citizenship class project initiated by Temple Judea and Our Lady of Grace inspired many leaders to consider following suit.  [Photo Credit: Rafael Paz]

West Prep Academy Parents Engage Las Vegas Police


80 West Prep Academy parent leaders engaged with Las Vegas, Bolden Area Command officers (and representatives from the Metro traffic bureau) and secured commitments to improve safety and traffic in the West Prep neighborhood. 

This successful engagement built on two months of school-based house meetings with concerned parents and community members. 

Pima County Interfaith Leader Recognized by Arizona Daily Star


As a leader with Pima County Adult Education, Ana Chavarin started out with Pima County Interfaith in a 2013 accountability assembly telling her story.  Now she is an organizer, working with institutions to build power in Tucson, Arizona.

[Photo Credit: Pima Community College, Arizona Daily Star]

Neto's Tucson: Ana Chavarin is a Single Mom, an Immigrant and a Success, Arizona Daily Star [pdf]

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