Workshop on immigration set for March 3

About a dozen people — mostly parishioners of St. William Church and the Church of the Epiphany — stood near the busy intersection of Shelbyville Road and Hurstbourne Lane Aug. 5 to demonstrate their support of immigrants and highlight recent deportations of those here without the government’s permission. (Record Photo by Marnie McAllister)

By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer

Immigrants, pastors, parish staff, people who work with immigrants and parishioners who want to be supportive of immigrants are invited to attend a workshop on March 3.

The Share the Journey Immigration Legal Workshop will be presented from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Holy Family Church’s Saffin Center, 3926 Poplar Level Road.

The event will provide up-to-date information on immigration laws, resources for helping those affected by immigration and catechesis on Catholic Social Teaching and immigration.

 Participants will hear from a panel that includes Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad and Father Joseph Rankin, vicar for Hispanic ministry in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

The keynote address will be given by Michelle Sardone, the legalization program director for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., (CLINIC) — a national group created by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Sardone will present “Federal Immigration Law: A Current Report,” which will address
immigration reform efforts.

The conference will also include a presentation by Deacon Lucio Caruso of Catholic Charities. He will discuss the Catholic church’s teaching on immigration. There will also be a presentation on state and local laws affecting immigrants and a session presented by Mayor Greg Fischer’s Office of Globalization.

The workshop follows several months of meetings  between pastors with Hispanic and Latino parishioners and Catholic Charities, said Deacon Caruso, one
of the organizers.

Hispanic and Latino parishioners are experiencing immigration raids on their homes and deportation. Those who have not yet had those experiences are living with fear, said Deacon Caruso.

Their pastors hope to find ways to support them, he noted.

So far, Catholic Charities has provided pastors with information aimed at helping the Hispanic community understand their rights.

But those who attended these meetings “thought it would be nice to come together around this issue and learn more and support each other,” said Deacon Caruso. This conference is a “real response to a real need.”

He said the event is also an opportunity for the wider Catholic community to respond to the Gospel.

“Given the current political climate and the fears that has created, it’s important now more than ever for the church to come together and bring support and assurance to our brothers and sisters most affected by this issue and learn what we all can do,” he said.

Eva Gonzalez, director of Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Louisville, said the conference comes at a good time.

She is leading the archdiocese’s Encuentro process, a national initiative aimed at discerning and developing the gifts Hispanic and Latino Catholics bring to the church in the United States.

People involved in the process locally are concerned about immigration, said Gonzalez. But the information they receive about the issue — coming from multiple sources — can be confusing, she noted. The conference, where up-to-date information will be provided, will be helpful, she said.

The conference will be followed this summer by a program on Catholic Social Teaching and immigration, said Deacon Caruso.

The cost of the workshop is $20, which includes breakfast and lunch. To register, visit www.archlou.org/share.

For more information, contact Deacon Caruso at 637-9786 or lcaruso@archlou.org or Gonzalez at 636-0296 or egonzalez@archlou.org.

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