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Parish helps pass anti-slum ordinance, seeks justice for immigrants

Our parish, St. Anthony Mary Claret, in Fresno, CA is a low-income parish including Mexican immigrants, campesinos, and undocumented families. We may not be wealthy materially, but we are rich in faith and in our ability to raise our voices to transform injustice. Together with other faith institutions who are part of Faith in Fresno, which receives funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, we recently succeeded in passing an anti-slum ordinance to address poor conditions that renters in our city have endured for years, including lack of heating and gas, pest infestation, mold, and other issues. This is an important victory that took thirteen years to achieve! With recent changes to federal and local immigration policy, another area we are now focusing on is “know-your-rights” education with undocumented members of our community so that they know what rights they have if confronted by ICE agents. We do this work to keep families together and to remind everyone of the dignity possessed by all people made in God’s image. We are also proud of our flourishing campesino ministry with migrant workers, who are part of our parish family.