Immigration: Youth & Young Adult Education

This program is designed for high school and college age students, Youth and Young Adults. This is an important age for youth and young adults as they recognize the systems of injustice, especially for the immigrants in the U.S. They want to challenge this system and work to change it. This program is designed to be a resource for you as a teacher, a youth or campus minister, or an administrator that works with youth and young adults.

University of Chicago students celebrate with Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and Mariachi Lupita at the end of their Immigrantion Immersion Service Retreat. "Working with Kathy McGourty and the Youth and YoungAdult Education Program has proven a blessing. Kathy brings a wealth of connections to leaders, organizations, and churches. This made for a retreat itinerary that attracted many students we do not reach with mass or other community activities. Kathy and the immigrants, clergy, and leaders we met inspired us as to the value of our faith in these polarized times."        ~ Dominic Surya, Catholic Students Association and Calvert House, the catholic center at the University of Chicago.

Faithful Citizenship

New! Faithful Citizenship Education! Learn how using our Catholic lens helps us to be Faithful Citizens this election year. Contact program coordinator for more information.

Below are opportunities we offer to educate your youth and young adult on the issues of immigration, undocumented immigrants, and the unaccompanied minors. There are resources for education and action, guest speakers on a variety of topics, and immersion trips/retreats that build community and solidarity.

Click Here for Resources for Y & YA Education

Learning and living in solidarity with the immigrant.

Relationships grow when we put a human face to the issue. Solidarity becomes a reality. This is the goal of our immersion experiences. The following are some of the activities that you can choose from to design your immersion experience to best fit the needs of your youth and young adults:

  • Broadview Detention Center Rosary: join others as we pray the rosary on Friday mornings before detainees are deported & transported out to their final destination. Provide support for their families. Pray for an end to deportations. Learn more here.

  • Immigration Court Watch: stand in solidarity and serve as a presence in the Detained Immigrant Court. Be a public witness to bring transparency to this broken system. Report back to the coordinator who records weekly.

  • Migrant Day Laborers: meet the laborers who live in the shadows, waiting for work, searching for ope. Share food with them, listen to their stories. Learn firsthand what accompaniment means.

  • DREAMers: Talk with a youth or young adult who was brought to this country as an infant or child. They remain undocumented, but continue their search for dignity. Listen to their story, struggles and dreams.

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine: learn the story of Juan Diego and the spiritual significance of this story of accompaniment. Visit the shrine and experience this cultural event.

  • Pastoral Migratoria: meet Polish and Hispanic Immigrants who empower each other as they work for dignity and justice.

  • Immigration Lawyers: talk to and ask questions of the ones at the front line of serving the undocumented. Why does coming to the U.S. without documentation become a necessity? What laws need to change so this will end?

Any of these opportunities can be combined to create your immersion trip or retreat experience. Contact us soon to set one up!

Reach the OIA Education Project Coordinator, Kathy McGourty, at

St. Ign HS imm journeys presentation

Kathy McGourty presents Immigrant Journeys at St. Ignatius High School

"Saint Ignatius thoroughly enjoyed partnering with the Archdiocesan Young Adult Education Program. Back in February, we shared a day of prayer, learning and conversation around issues of immigration. Saint Ignatius particularly appreciated that the presenter highlighted that Catholic social teaching has great wisdom to offer towards this complicated and multifaceted issue. The Archdiocese provided a thoughtful presentation that included the testimony of a “Dreamer” who helped our students see the “human side” of the immigration debate. We later joined the Archdiocese for a prayer vigil for immigrants outside the Broadview Detention facility.  In sum, we appreciated this opportunity to collaborate with the larger Archdiocesan community outside of our school."                                            ~ Peter Corrigan, Dir of Formation and Ministry, St. Ignatius H.S.

St. Xavier University hosts a speaker event on Welcoming the Stranger: Perspectives on the Experience of Immigration

St. Xavier University hosts a speaker event on Welcoming the Stranger: Perspectives on the Experience of Immigration.

“We at Saint Xavier University are so grateful for the opportunity to work with The Office for Immigrant Affairs.  What a valuable resource for anyone seeking information or education about immigration issues.  Kathy McGourty offered immeasurable support to our panel presentation at SXU.  She was a joy to work with, and her efforts led to a very successful event that informed and inspired our audience. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with this office, and we look forward to expanding opportunities for our students through the Office for Immigrant Affairs.”                                                                       ~ Dr. Andrea Stapleton, Office for Mission and Heritage

Check out our brochure. Download it here as a PDF document.

Return for continually updated resources!


"God’s dream for them is to live free of fear, free to offer their gifts and talents to their families, their communities and to the common good.” ~Archbishop Cupich, Nov 26, 2014