Catholic Social Teaching emerges from Gospel engagement with public life. Since Pope Leo XIII confronted the wealthy on behalf of industrial workers in 1891, the Church has continually offered Gospel witness in the modern political sphere. Currently, the US Senate debates immigration reform. Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez chairs the USCCB Committee on Migration. Urging approval of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, he said: “Families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings die in the desert. Without positive change to our immigration laws, we cannot help our brothers and sisters.” As legislation develops in Congress, stay informed through http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org. This week, we feature: “The Invisible Chapel” to form awareness about Gospel values related to immigration reform. This is the story of faith-filled witness in one southern California parish. Produced in association with the Mexican American Cultural Center, whose Ministry Formation Program has received USCCB accreditation, this 2007, 31 minute documentary has a compelling narrative and emotional depth. We witness the 25-year story of a community of migrant laborers living in makeshift dwellings on the edge of a high-end subdivision in San Diego. Within an open-air shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the local Catholic parish ministers to the migrants’ sacramental and physical needs. The pastor relates significant activities of five outreach teams, the migrants’ abiding Christian witness and the eventual clash with an anti-migrant coalition. At the heart of the story is a living saint, a laborer named Generoso. Speaking Mixteco, the indigenous language of Oaxaca, Mexico, he is a marginalized person within a marginalized group – hidden among the hidden. Prepared for Eucharist and Confirmation by the parish’s catechetical outreach, Generoso serves as a Eucharistic Minister. I can scarcely imagine the impact of his physical presence. I felt connected to God’s love simply by watching Generoso on the screen. He radiates holiness. As the voices of those who oppose the migrants grow louder, Generoso quietly says: “They are all God’s children. I won’t say anything bad about them.” Driven from their initial sanctuary, this believing community’s continuing story will surprise and enlighten the viewers of this award-winning DVD. Use the on-line Order Form and request this title or search related resources with the key word: immigration @ click here. Please call Diane Gallagher or Dan Hardester @ 407-246-4897 (or 4895) for assistance in using audiovisual media in faith formation for all age groups.(Dan Hardester serves as Secretary of the Evangelization Secretariat and Director of the Media Center.)
Catholic Social Teaching emerges from Gospel engagement with public life.