During this Lenten season, the Peace and Justice Committee is focused on the subject of Immigration. Each weekend of Lent we will hear a Communion Reflection related to an immigration topic and we will also sing a new song called, “How Long, O Lord.”
This Monday night, March 6th, at 6:00 pm, the Committee will welcome Diane Baird, an expert on the issues that affect refugees in our country. She will talk with us at our Soup Supper and the Committee encourages and welcomes all parishioners and their friends and neighbors to come to this event to eat a simple dinner, pray together and learn about the plight of refugees and how we might respond. We are all busy, so the Committee wants to assure you that you will be on your way by 8:00.
Last month Pope Francis made ‘Comfort for the Afflicted’ the theme of his prayer intention for the month. He prayed: “that all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.” I would like to draw attention to an organization in our community that has consistently responded to this prayer. The organization is Freedom House and you may remember that a representative from Freedom House came to a previous soup supper and brought several former residents of the program who are now successfully integrated into our country. It was a wonderful evening and we responded by collecting supplies that are needed on a continuing basis and some members of the parish committed themselves to doing volunteer work there. Freedom House is now facing a new challenge.
Mark Miller, our Parish Council President, has had a continuing relationship with Freedom House and he has sent the following information so we can be informed about their situation:
“Freedom House is a temporary home for indigent survivors of persecution from around the world who are seeking asylum in the United States and Canada. The mission of Freedom House is to uphold a fundamental American principle, one inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, providing safety for those “yearning to breathe free.” Freedom House also provides temporary housing for victims of human trafficking. Freedom House is located in the former convent at St. Anne’s parish in Southwest Detroit.
After providing housing and services to asylum seekers for over 30 years, Freedom House is in danger of closing. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development recently denied the request by Freedom House for renewal of its federal funding, which had been 60% of its annual budget. The loss of this funding places the future of Freedom House in jeopardy.
If you would like to help or learn more about Freedom House, please check the Freedom House web site at freedomhousedetroit.org.”