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Bay Area Jesuit Groups to Hold Mass and Reception in Support of Immigration Reform, Feb. 5 in San Jose

Monday, Jan. 24, 2011

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 24, 2011—As part of a nationwide effort to advocate for civil discourse and movement on immigration law reform, five Bay Area Jesuit institutions will hold a Catholic Mass and reception February 5 at Most Holy Trinity Church in San Jose.

The theme of the 2 p.m. gathering will be “The Jesuit Family Welcomes the Stranger,” and will feature testimonials by immigrants from several continents discussing their experiences and challenges in America.

“One of the most fundamental tenets of our faith is to work for justice for those who have no voice or power to speak for themselves,” said Santa Clara University President Michael E. Engh, S.J., who will concelebrate the Mass.   “Jesuits and many lay supporters are united in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters to promote dialogue, reflection, and action to bring about the humane reform of U.S. immigration laws.”

Students, friends, and immigration-law reform advocates from Santa Clara University, Bellarmine College Preparatory high school, Sacred Heart Nativity School, Most Holy Trinity Parish, and the California Province of Jesuits will be in attendance.

At the end of the Mass at Most Holy Trinity Church, 2040 Nassau Drive, San Jose, CA 95122, participants will present Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren with letters to support humane immigration law reform.

Jesuits and other Catholics believe the current patchwork of state laws too often casually destroys lives while offering no path to legal residency for otherwise law-abiding immigrants or relief for adults who were brought to the U.S. as small children.

Since last year, Jesuits and others throughout the U.S. have been praying and advocating for comprehensive reform with the following attributes:

•    A path to legalization that ensures that undocumented immigrants have access to full legal rights
•    A legal employment structure for future workers that protects both migrants and U.S. workers
•    Expedited family reunification and emphasis on family unity for all immigrants
•    The promise of due process and humane enforcement of our immigration laws
•    Development assistance and fair competition with developing countries

Jesuit leaders around the country also have been shining a spotlight on the subject of immigration law reform this year, through projects like the Kino Border Initiative (a Mexico-based program of direct assistance to those deported from the U.S.), Masses (Catholic church services) focused on immigrant concerns, and letter campaigns to Congress and President Obama.

“We share our humanity in God’s eyes,” said John P. McGarry, S.J., provincial of the California Province of Jesuits. “While we understand the many dimensions of this issue, our legislators simply cannot ignore the suffering and inequity that the current legal patchwork is causing.”

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California’s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see

Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | (408) 554-5121 |


Tags: immigration, Jesuit

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