As talk of immigration reform stalls in Washington, interfaith leaders joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in New York last weekend for the first-ever “Becoming America Congressional Pilgrimage.”
Congressmen including Joe Crowley, Charley Rangel, Mario Diaz-Balart and Michael Grimm joined the pilgrimage to sites that accentuate New York and America’s ethnic diversity such as Ellis Island, Gracie Mansion, the African Burial Ground National Monument, the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the National September 11 Memorial.
Leaders from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths including Catholic and Evangelical communities welcomed all present.
A concern among many is that families that once worshipped together are now separated by U.S. immigration laws.
Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan meditated in his remarks on verses from the Gospel of Matthew that advise “for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.”
He also encouraged reaffirmation of the pledge made by our founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence.
“With a firm reliance on divine providence,” he recited, “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
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