Once again our SJA Welcome the Stranger ministry has partnered with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to provide a message of support and unity to migrant families held in U.S. detention centers. It is a small gesture, but it is something we can do to let families and children know they are not forgotten at this time of year, when Christians celebrate the birth of the migrant Jesus.
Last year St. Joan of Arc, responded to this call for help. We asked for Christmas cards with greetings of solidarity for families in immigration detention centers in our country, and we mailed 900 cards. We were overwhelmed, with cards coming in from as far away as Iowa and Michigan, so you really put the word out, SJA! Let's do it again.
We will be setting up areas where you can write out your cards after the Saturday and Sunday masses beginning November 21st. There will be cards and also cheat sheets for spanish translation of common greetings. If you're still not comfortable coming to mass in person, put your cards in an envelope and mail to SJA NO LATER THAN DEC. 1!.
Currently there are 21,890 people being held in ICE detention, and 124,999 being held in alternatives to detention (this includes parole, release on bond, home and telephone checkins and GPS monitoring through an electronic ankle bracelet).