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]

Nevadans for the Common Good Celebrate 150 House Meetings and Launch Into Action


140+ leaders from Nevadans for the Common Good (NCG) participated in their most recent Delegates' Assembly, marking the end of a House Meeting Campaign that involved over 150 small group conversations and the beginning of taking action.   Since October 2017, leaders spoke with over 1500 people around Clark County and, based on these conversations, presented the five issues they want to work on: healthcare, education, transportation, immigration, and housing.  Leaders also exchanged funny skits, stories, and a few dance moves in the process!

Citizens Band Together for the Common Good, Boulder City Review [pdf]

Church, Community Partnership with North Elementary Leads to Improved Academic Achievement in Brighton, CO


One year ago the Colorado IAF, Brighton Education Association and Northern Hills Church initiated an organizing campaign at North Elementary School, the lowest ranking of all schools in the 27J School District.  Over the course of the year, North demonstrated the largest improvement in academic scores of any school in the district and one of the highest in the state (see article below).  As a result, North changed its academic status from "improvement" to "performance."

Leaders initially began by developing individual relationships between congregational members and educators, and then reaching out to parents through neighborhood walks and pancake breakfast gatherings.  Together, they succeeded in establishing a before- and after-school care program for students and an intensive tutoring program that matched community volunteers -- mostly from Northern Hills Church, with students demonstrating the greatest academic need.  North Elementary staff additionally pursued internal changes including the reorganization of instructional teams and changes to the Master Schedule to better incorporate literacy and math blocks.  

School-based leaders expressed pride over the dramatic improvement in academic achievement and gratefulness for the partnership with Northern Hills Chapel.

More Students Graduate in 27J in 2017Brighton Blade [pdf]

Caring For Students Home By Home in Brighton, Colorado Education Association

Spanish-Language Training, and Bishops' Support, Leads to Acceptance of Church ID by Dallas-Area Police Departments


Six months after 85 Spanish-speaking leaders from twelve immigrant parishes participated in two-day leadership development training co-sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), Interfaith Education Fund and Dallas Area Interfaith, leaders negotiated ground breaking changes in police department policy in order to engender greater trust between police and immigrants. For the first time in North Texas, immigrants without state ID will be allowed to use parish identification cards to identify themselves with Farmers Branch, Carrollton and Dallas Police Department officers.   

Sunday evening, hundreds of leaders were turned away from a sanctuary already overflowing with 1,500 Dallas Area Interfaith leaders at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Farmers Branch.  Nine years ago, the city of Farmers Branch was best-known for passing the first anti-immigrant law in Texas, which included fines for landlords renting to undocumented immigrants.  The police department paid a price in community trust -- one motivation for publicly pledging to accept parish IDs.

Catholic Bishop Edward Burns drew the most applause when he announced, "Jesus said whoever welcomes the stranger, welcomes me.  The Church as the mother will do whatever we can for the members of our immigrant community." 

This approval will help the estimated 231,000 immigrants who call Dallas home. 

[Photo Credits: (top) Dallas Morning News, (bottom) Catholic Diocese of Dallas]

Hundreds Meet to Discuss Immigration, Parish ID CardTexas Catholic

Live Stream of Assembly, Catholic Diocese of Dallas

Video Clip of Bishop's Statement

Video Clip of Carrollton PD's Response

Spanish Speaking Catholics in Las Vegas Train for Leadership with Bishop


170 Catholics from the Diocese of Las Vegas participated in three days of Spanish-language training made possible with the support of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Bishop Joseph A. Pepe.   The training took place at Holy Family Catholic Church.

Spanish-Speaking Leaders from Archdiocese of Los Angeles Join Bishop for Training on Habits & Practices of Leadership


Thanks to a generous grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Interfaith Education Fund, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Archdiocese and local organizations One LA and ICON, prepared 76 immigrant leaders in the habits and practices of leadership.  

The two-day training, held at John Bosco Tech High was organized to allow participants to reflect and act on the mission of the church for the greater good of our communities.  Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell joined the trainees on both days of the course, inspiring many to take next steps to become leaders in their parishes.  

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