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Bishop Invites Parishoners to be the Room at the Inn


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  or 510-768-3165 to register."

Last Modified: January 20, 2016 12:41 PM
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