Our ministry of accompaniment provides pastoral and basic needs support to immigrants who are being detained or deported from the Chicago area, and to their families. Accompanying or “walking with” our immigrant brothers and sisters, as companions on their journey, can lead us to a personal and communal encounter with Christ in those on the margins of society and to greater solidarity with immigrants. The net effect is transformation of oneself and society.
Accompanying immigrant detainees at local detention centers
Each week, members of our ministries and networks that comprise priests, religious sisters and brothers, and lay leaders, collaborate with the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants’ prayer vigils and visitation programs. Every Friday, members of our networks gather at the Broadview Detention Center to pray for those who will be deported that morning. Additionally, non-immigrant parishes reach out in their communities to supply winter coats and other essential clothing for immigrants in the detention process.
Connecting families of detainees to Pastoral Migratoria parishes for follow-up support
Many families who have been separated from loved ones by detention or deportation are accompanied through the Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry. Lay leaders of this ministry connect the families to parishes involved in Pastoral Migratoria for follow-up care and support (e.g. home visits, prayer, legal referrals.) Families with deportation cases may receive emergency intervention and other comprehensive assistance in local parishes.
“Listening, in communication, is an openness of heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual encounter cannot occur. Listening helps us to find the right gesture and word which shows that we are more than simply bystanders. Only through such respectful and compassionate listening can we enter on the paths of true growth and awaken a yearning for the Christian ideal: the desire to respond fully to God’s love and to bring to fruition what he has sown in our lives.” ~Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel