Be Empowered & Know Your Rights
We talk about our rights but it’s difficult when these rights are denied. On Monday, March 27, 2017, sisters, associates, friends, and neighbors gathered at our Motherhouse for a presentation by Courtney Snagroff, a staff member of PAIR [Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project].
Courtney is a paralegal and Community Engagement Manager at PAIR where she works to increase immigrants’ access to accurate information about their rights ,and helps to build PAIR’s partnerships with immigrant community organizations.
“You may think you know the basics,” commented Maryann Enright, CSJ, as she introduced Courtney, “but I have discovered that I didn’t even know the basics of the rights we all share.” PAIR has a staff of seven people, but Courtney explained that they collaborate with others to serve as many people as possible. In the past few months the PAIR project has offered approximately 250 presentations across Massachusetts to help people be informed, be empowered, and know their rights.
For over 25 years, PAIR has been a nationally recognized pro bono model that provides free legal services to asylum-seekers and promotes the rights of detained immigrants. PAIR provides hope and a new beginning to asylum-seekers, torture survivors, and immigration detainees.
Everyone has rights whether we are first, second, or third generation immigrants. The message of the presentation was to stay informed. Talk with friends, share this information with others, and know that there are resources to make connections when help is needed. Here are some recommended sites:
Celebrating St. Joseph in Our World Today
Sisters of St. Joseph, associates, and friends gathered at the Motherhouse on March 19 in a celebration that combined the Third Sunday of Lent and a remembrance of St. Joseph whose official feast was moved to the next day. In his homily Fr. Gene Sullivan commented, “I wonder if Joseph is bothered that he was bumped by his son?” and continued by explaining that the fact March 19 fell on the Third Sunday of Lent gave Joseph his own special day on Monday.
Fr. Sullivan went on to speculate that Joseph is connected to a lot that is going on in our world. Like so many refugees in today’s world, his family was on the run. Joseph needed to provide for his family. “So maybe people will be looking at Joseph as a modern day saint,” he said.
Regis College’s St. Joseph Day Prayer Service included readings from Hebrew, Muslim, and Christian traditions. After an introduction to the prayer by Carmela Abbruzzese, CSJ , Mary Rita Grady, CSJ, deftly wove together CSJ tradition, Regis College tradition, the Joseph of Hebrew Scripture, the Qur’an, and Christian Scripture into a tapestry centered around Joseph’s dreams. Mary Rita concluded her reflections saying, “Collectively, the CSJ colleges have dreams, and the dreams challenge us: to be a welcoming and caring community, to apply this to all without distinction, to be aware of the world they exist in, and to address current needs. And in welcoming the challenge, each of us strives to act to the best of our individual and collective ability.”