Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Supporting Refugee Relocation: Doing the Math 4th Sunday of Lent Cycle A

“Whenever I meet someone in need, it is really Jesus in His most distressing disguise.”

                                                                                                          Saint Theresa of Calcutta

On the fourth Sunday of Lent Jesus encounters and heals a blind man.  This rather long story is full of many interesting details. For the purpose of this article, I would like to focus on the change that transpires during the course of the story.  

In the beginning of the story Jesus meets a man whom the recorder of the gospel describes as “blind from birth.”  By the end of the story, the man (whose sight has been restored) sees that Jesus is the Son of Man.  The Pharisees, on the other hand, become blinded to this by ignorance and sinfulness.

Today’s gathering hymn (which will be sung before the procession) comes from a poem that was originally written in Gaelic and set to a traditional Irish melody.  Be Thou My Vision (#394) is a fitting prayer as we come to meet God in Word and Sacrament.  The offertory song “Open My Eyes” (#390) is a more modern composition where we pray that God open our eyes, ears and hearts.

We continue to sing Ricky Manalo’s “In These Days of Lenten Journey” (#127) as our recessional hymn.  Despite our singing verse 4, I encourage you to look at consider each of the verses which call us to:

                                Reach out to those who are homeless

·                              Open our eyes to the hungry

·                              Open our ears to the weary

·                              Call on the Spirit of justice

It’s in this spirit that I share part two of this note.


The Archdiocese of Newark has committed to assist approximately 12-16 household resettle in the Archdiocese.  These refugees will be coming from Syria, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq and Afghanistan.  The initial communication from the Archdiocese asks for donations of housing supplies (furnishings, kitchen items, linens etc.) and of course, financial donations.

I’ve been thinking and praying on this for several months now and hear the Holy Spirit saying, “Bruce, You can do more.”   

I’m thinking that 12 -16 parishes of the diocese meet this need head on by finding the resources to:  subsidize the cost of housing, help adults find employment and navigate things like utilities, transportation and school systems for one of these families.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m neither mandating nor committing to do this on behalf of the parish. I’m also not suggesting that we do our own thing outside of the diocesan effort. 

 I’m just doing the math:                         

  a           12-16 families hitting the immigration jackpot the same as our great-grandparents

___ =c    __________________________________________________________________  = c

  B          12-16 of the best parishes and communities in the Archdiocese


If you get the same answer, contact me at b.mauro1@yahoo.com or call the parish office to be part of our social concerns ministry.

Blessed to be in ministry at St. Mary’s


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