The Gospel as well as our CHM mission mandate that we care for the least among us. As women of faith we feel called to speak publicly and act fearlessly in support of refugees forced to migrate from their home countries and/or immigrants seeking safety and a new life in these United States. To make that point, in 2017, the sisters issued the following statement on support for refugees and immigrants. (Click here to download/print the statement)
“As a community of women religious who were welcomed to the United States as immigrants we, Congregation of the Humility of Mary, support refugees and immigrants from all countries. For more than 150 years, we have ministered alongside refugees, immigrants, and migrants. As citizens of the United States, we recognize that our diverse cultures and nationalities are an integral part of our heritage and the foundation of our democracy. As members of the human family, we echo Pope Francis who reminds us that, “migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger, exploitation and the unjust distribution of the planet’s resources which are meant to be equitably shared by all.” In response to the recent refugee ban, increased deportations, and anti-immigrant sentiments, we, Congregation of the Humility of Mary, commit ourselves to act with others on behalf of refugees, immigrants, and migrants by:
- deepening our awareness and understanding of policies and legislation which affect them;
- using our resources to help meet their needs for shelter, education, healthcare, protection, mentoring, and advocacy;
- calling on elected officials to enact comprehensive legislation and humane immigration policies that promote: a path to citizenship, the rights of migrant children, family unification, protection from unjust and inhumane detention and treatment of undocumented workers and other persons, control of our borders through compassionate initiatives, and equal access to the U.S. refugee resettlement program regardless of ethnic and religious background.
We, Congregation of the Humility of Mary, join with others in prayer as we call upon concerned citizens to advocate for immigration policies that continue to promote the United States as a beacon of hope for our diverse, global community.”
Some of the many ways CHMs are involved with these issues:
- The CHM congregation is a co-sponsor of the annual Pacem in Terris - Peace and Freedom Award
- Sister Molly Munoz and Sister Irene Munoz work with the migrant and immigrant farming populations in Colorado and Iowa.
- CHMs financially support the Diversity Service Center of Iowa (DSCI) in Muscatine, Iowa, whose purpose, through educational outreach, is servicing people from all over the world who live in Muscatine and surrounding areas.
- Financial support for the 2017 Spanish Language Marriage and Family Conference in Ottumwa, Iowa, where 1,700 guests from over a dozen states attended
- Support of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and their efforts on immigration
- Presentation of the VANG in September 2017 – a play about recent immigrant farmers
- Support of Bishop Pate’s (Diocese of Des Moines) statements on immigration
- Participation in rallies such as the recent “No Hate Rally” in August 2017 in Davenport, Iowa.
- Sisters write or call their legislators expressing their concerns about current situations as they arise.
- CHMs are a part of the Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, a collaborative group of 12 congregations who respond to social injustice with media campaigns one example being the immigration billboards campaign using the image above and the "Pray it Forward" campaign below.