Michele Jurich, The Catholic Voice Facebook
December 24, 2015
"On Christmas Eve, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, is inviting each parish in the Diocese of Oakland to co-sponsor a refugee family. In his Christmas Eve homily at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland -- and in a letter to the priests of the diocese -- Bishop Barber is inviting each of the 84 parishes to co-sponsor a refugee family in cooperation with Catholic Charities of the East Bay.
The bishop's invitation was inspired by Pope Francis. 'Last September I was in Rome and personally heard the Holy Father ask every parish and monastery in Europe to sponsor a refugee family,' he said. 'Wouldn’t it be great if we become the first diocese in the USA where every parish co-sponsored a refugee family?'
Catholic Charities of the East Bay already sponsors more than 200 refugees a year in the East Bay, in full cooperation with the U.S. Department of State.
'Whatever your parish is able to provide: whether it’s furnishing a small apartment, providing clothes, cooking a meal, meeting the family at the airport, providing rent, etc. will be welcomed and be considered 'co-sponsorship,' the Bishop said.
'Let’s do this together in the same spirit in which we would welcome Mary and Joseph as they looked for a place at the inn,' he said. 'If we would welcome the Holy Family to our parish and provide a place where Mary could give birth to the Christ child, shouldn’t we do the same in the name of Jesus to those who come to us for help? 'For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.' (Matt 25:35).'
To help parishes learn more about co-sponsoring a refugee family, Catholic Charities of the East Bay will present a workshop at its Richmond center from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm January 30. Contact Stephen Mullin from Catholic Charities East Bay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-768-3165 to register."