Archdioces of St. Louis

Mindful of my pastoral responsibility to bring the light of faith to bear on our historical reality (Lumen Fidei, 38), I wish to address our Catholic faithful and people of good will in this pastoral statement on immigration and mercy.

As a People of God, our Catholic journey and pilgrim identity is marked by a profound commitment to serving those around us, especially the most vulnerable, the poor and the migrant (Acts 4:32). In our country, the Church has been responsive to the waves of immigrants that have graced our American shores. The Irish, the German, the Italian, the Polish, and other European immigrants have found a generous hospitality in our Catholic churches and institutions.

Our Catholic sensibility and pastoral care has taught us that in serving the least among us, we have touched the face of Christ: “Come you that are blessed by my Father…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25: 34-35).

Our journey toward the Lord is still alive today. Our Catholic communities and public squares are replete with new faces of immigrant sisters and brothers who need our loving response. As the local bishop and pastor of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I am aware of the painful stories of immigrants whose ongoing sufferings and sacrifices reveal to us the presence of Jesus crucified.

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