Catholic Relief Services Releases Book on Migration

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) recently released a book on migration entitled Global Migration: What’s Happening, Why, and a Just Response, as a part of their newest Faculty Learning Commons academic modules on migration. The book, written by Elizabeth Collier from Dominican University and Charles Strain from DePaul University, unpacks the complex issues surrounding modern migration, including the reasons people might need or choose to leave their country of origin, and the laws, treaties, and resources that dictate the opportunities of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people upon resettling.

Migration

This text offers personal narratives, principles for critical thinking drawn from Catholic social teaching, and opportunities for action from the individual to the international level.  Focused on the humanitarian work of CRS throughout the world, Global Migration inspires reflection, provokes discussion and empowers students to respond to today’s greatest humanitarian crisis.

This book is a part of the Faculty Learning Commons, online course materials for use in existing college and university classes to enrich the understanding of pressing issues in light of Catholic social teaching. The latest modules for Fall 2017-Spring 2018 are focused on migration.

University of Scranton Hosts Event on Refugee Resettlement

In February, the University of Scranton hosted “The Future of Refugee Resettlement”, an event hosted by the University of Scranton’s In Solidarity with Syria committee. The event consisted in a discussion with William Canny, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Maggie Walsh, Scranton High School English as a Second Language teacher, both graduates of the University of Scranton. Their discussion focused on both the international challenges of refugees and the local manifestation of these issues in the Scranton community. Canny addressed the vetting process in place in the United States for refugees and the moral imperative to care for refugees. Walsh spoke to her personal experience of teaching refugee children and their struggles.

The In Solidarity with Syria committee is a coordinated advocacy effort involving university administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and students to aid those affected by the current immigration crisis through education and advocacy.

Read the full article on the University of Scranton event here.

ACCU Releases Statement on Recent Executive Order by the President

More than 80 Catholic college and university presidents have signed the ACCU statement on the recent executive order by the President of the United States released on January 29, 2017. The statement reads:

“As the voice of Catholic higher education, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities expresses its strong opposition to the Executive Order signed by President Donald J. Trump concerning U.S. immigration policy. We stand in solidarity with other Catholic and higher education organizations that recognize the moral obligation of our country to assist migrants, particularly those who are fleeing any kind of persecution.

In referring to the order’s halt of refugee admissions, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, stated, “We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope. … We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities, without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones.” (Read Bishop Vasquez’s full statement online.)

Pope Francis has said that “authentic hospitality is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.” As ACCU gathers this weekend in Washington, DC to celebrate the value of diversity within Catholic higher education, we reaffirm the commitment of our institutions to creating inclusive, welcoming campus environments that embrace people of all faiths and cultures. Catholic higher education was founded precisely to serve the children of Catholic immigrants who in their own time were excluded from higher education. This is a legacy that we proudly pledge to continue.”

Download the news release about this statement, which includes the names of ACCU member presidents who have signed to express their support.

Creighton University Collaborates with Local Organizations to Offer Hospitality to Refugees

As part of the Creighton Global Initiative (CGI), Creighton University has partnered with Lutheran Family Services to provide refugee families with aid in resettlement. Students spend their Friday afternoons shopping for necessities for a family migrating to the Omaha area. Setting up an apartment is the beginning of the resettlement process for refugees. This ministry encourages the students to remember the human face of the refugee crisis. One student, Sarah Huddleston, discovered that this service was different than others in the past because “It’s not just packing up my old clothes in a box and dropping them off and forgetting about it. It’s making a decision with the family in mind and trying to think about what you’d want if you were in a strange place, thousands of miles from your home.”

As René Padilla, executive director of global engagement, describes the program “Refugees are our neighbors…When we think of refugees we often hear the call to ‘welcome the stranger.’ And welcoming the stranger is a good first step. But in this increasingly interconnected world, these strangers are our neighbors and we need each other. Our hope is that this CGI project will help Creighton members to work with their refugee neighbors for justice.”

The Creighton Global Initiative is a program committed to expanding global learning by creating opportunities for heightened relationships, experiences and perspectives embracing Jesuit higher education’s centuries-long tradition for building global networks.  Read more on this partnership to assist refugee families here.