Mass addresses national attitudes towards immigration

At a Mass for immigrants and refugees at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Monday night, associate professor of theology Fr. Daniel Groody said the United States’ and Catholics’ attitude towards immigrants and refugees is of utmost importance.

“What is at stake now is not just our politics, but our very salvation,” he said.

The Mass was sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Office of the President and Student Government. University president Fr. John Jenkins presided, and student government leaders and Notre Dame Right to Life president Aly Cox read prayers and scripture, respectively.

The Mass came little more than a week after President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning the issuance of visas to nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and stopping the admission of refugees for 120 days, in order to review the country’s immigration vetting process.

The order, which a federal judge temporarily stayed over the weekend allowing some visa holders to enter the country, sparked protests around the world and in South Bend. It also created uncertainty for the approximately 30 students from the seven countries at Notre Dame as to whether they would be able to return home and come back, or get a job in this country.

In his homily, Groody, who is also the director of Immigration Initiatives at the Institute of Latino Studies and has written and edited several books about immigration, directly addressed the executive order, focusing primarily on its effect on refugees. He recalled Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where many refugees arrive in unsafe boats, in 2013. Groody said the Mass reflected Francis’ compassion for refugees.  

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Originally published The Observer at on February 7, 2017.