Religious communities of Catholic sisters based in Ohio and Kentucky have rented billboard space in cities and towns in the two states.
The billboards reference Matthew 25:35 which says, “I was an stranger and you welcomed me.” On the sign, “a stranger” is crossed out and replaced with the words ‘an immigrant.’ The boards call on President Obama and Congress to work together to enact meaningful immigration reform and “to refrain from passing laws that would restrict the human rights of immigrants,” a news release from the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville said.
According to the release, the billboard project is a collaborative effort of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Region 6 and the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center.
“Comprehensive immigration reform is needed on the federal level to fix a system that is broken and causing pain to families due to unjust deportations and the exploitation of immigrant workers,” said Ursuline Sister Lynn Jarrell, president of the Ursuline Sisters in Louisville. “Many of our sisters work directly with immigrant families, and we have grieved with families who are torn apart and children left without support.”
The billboards will be placed in the following locations in Ohio: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Defiance, Hamilton, Middletown, Putnam County, Tiffin and Toledo. In Kentucky, they will be placed in Lexington, Louisville and Owensboro.
In Louisville, the billboards are located at 6208 Strawberry Lane and Allmond and at 13010 Dixie Highway. They will remain posted until Nov. 14.
In addition to the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, seven other area groups of women religious support the billboard campaign including: Benedictine Sisters of Covington, Congregation of Divine Providence, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Sisters of Loretto, Sisters of Notre Dame, and the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph.
The Sisters of Loretto have also sponsored the same billboards. The congregation based in Nerinx, Ky., posted signs at several locations throughout the summer.