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Reaching Across Cultures To Seek Immigration Reform

We work together with the leaders of Hispanic movements and communities active in our parishes to work for immigration reform. In the Diocese of Orange, we seek to bring Hispanic and non-Hispanic Catholics to work together to improve the lives of immigrants and the U.S. immigration system. Our Life, Justice and Peace office fostered education amongst clergy and worked on a multi-diocesan strategy with others in southern California. We realized the importance of building relationships with the leaders of Hispanic movements and communities active in our parishes, such as Renovación Carismática Católica, Jóvenes Para Cristo, Neocatechumenal Way, and partnered with our Office of Hispanic Ministry. Many of the leaders from these groups became key to planning, developing and implementing our diocesan actions on immigration. Our collaboration led to participation by over 2,000 people in a procession from one of our parishes to a legislator's office. Next, we held a successful gathering at the cathedral to pray and act for immigration reform with over 3,000 faithful. Last summer, Orange County sent 30 buses, in addition to other carpoolers, up to the regional Mass for Immigrants in Los Angeles. Parishes are actively educating immigrants on the new drivers license law and preparing potential applicants for the DACA/DAPA programs. Through Catholic Charities of Orange County, we now have a hub parish in each deanery to help expand the capacity for processing potential applicants. As the Catholics in our diocese have gotten more involved in putting faith in action on this issue, our clergy have also responded by preaching from the pulpit about our faith response to immigration.