Listen to JustLove This Week to Hear About Catholic Charities Unaccompanied Minors Program and the Emergence of Multicultural Parishes

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R-L: Margaret Martin and Hoffsman Ospino

On this week’s show, hear Monsignor Kevin Sullivan speaks with Margaret Martin, the Supervising Attorney of Catholic Charities Community Service’s Unaccompanied Minors Program and its response to the recent border crisis. Also on the show is Hosffman Ospino, Assistant Professor of Theology and Education at Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry. On the show they discuss the emergence of multicultural parishes and how parishes are adjusting to in the increase of Hispanic parishioners.

Engaging the Secular and Sultry in Search of the Spiritual

 

I am not a big concertgoer, but I’ve been to a few over the years – symphony halls, subways, Cathedrals, parks, fields, stadiums, street corners, etc… I’ve found the sacred ones less holy & the secular ones more spiritual than anticipated. I like the crowds as much as the performances. I am particularly fascinated by the nexus between secular pop culture and faith, values and religious things. Church rituals are imitated and morphed beyond recognition in pop concerts.

So, when a ticket to Beyonce’s (and JayZ’s) “On the Run” tour became available through a worthy friend, I said, yes, yes. From reviews of this tour and Bey’s recent album, I suspected an experience – energetic, loud, powerful, upbeat, and a duet or two with her husband JayZ that might inspire a shout or two of “get a room.” I was prepared for a fair share of “adult content” in word, deed and attire. And so off I went to engage the secular and sultry in search of the spiritual and righteous. And I was not disappointed!!

A great night of entertainment started with “the crowd” entering the stadium. More than a few Beyonce “wannabes” – alas with very little of her style, sass or talent. But you’ve got to love them for having fun making the effort!!! On the whole a seemingly normal – whatever normal means – group ready to be entertained and have a good time. The crowd more female than male and much more black than white.

Once inside and as soon as the concert began – no warm up act needed here – the crowd was electrified, on its feet, and incredibly well-behaved, considerate and polite – much more so than many NYC subway riders, I might add.

Now to the stage and the main event… There were actually three concerts – Bey, Jay (alternating back and forth) & BEYJAY together – real together at times. And throughout, lights, flame, smoke, lights flame, smoke… Imagine loud, energetic, relentless, throbbing, intense, sultry music and dance. Now double it and add steroids. You get close….

So here’s my take: a great crowd – friends, couples and extended families (no kids) from throughout the metropolitan area who came to be entertained and maybe live a bit vicariously the glamour, passion, fame and wealth that BEYJAY have branded better than anyone else today. Good for them!

The BEYJAY together piece of the concert – despite its risqué adult content – displayed an intensity and connectedness that is the envy and aspiration of many relationships.

JAYZ – He has a way with certain words – one particular word that black guys can speak repeatedly with impunity and white guys get canned for uttering once. Without condoning or being comfortable with all the vocabulary, style and innuendo, one must admit a certain directness that cuts through “the b___.” If we take offense at the vocabulary, we should be able to figure out our own way and words to achieve much needed straightforwardness in our lives, relationships and world.

BEY – Her just showing up and standing on stage without doing much else in any one of her outfits would have been worth the price of admission. No doubt, her movements were value added! Other than the obvious comments, she exuded a joie de vivre rarely matched on stage or in life. Either she really enjoys her work, or, she deserves an Academy Award for faking it. Again, the envy and aspiration of many to be able to bring that spirit to their work. What looks easy is the result of incredible discipline and hard work. It can only look easy because of the determined “homework” she has done long before the performance. (Not a bad lesson in fields far from the stage for those who seek instant success without the hard work!) No mistake, her gig is so, so different than 99.9% of the world, pay through the roof into the stratosphere and one-name recognition reserved for only handful, but. . Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could bring that spirit and discipline to his or her toil and find satisfaction and joy? Dr. Martin Luther King said it best: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry or Beyonce danced and sang (o.k.- my addition). He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

I was not disappointed.

A National Crisis Hits Home for Catholic Charities

The dramatic increase in unaccompanied minor children fleeing their homelands for safety in the United States has sparked political and humanitarian concerns.  Best information indicates more than half of these children are seeking reunification with family members.  Two-thirds are escaping violence and other threatening situations that are grounds for relief under standard immigration rules.

This current situation requires a multi-faceted approach: a humanitarian response to the plight of threatened children in the best tradition of our country; sound policies that respect individual rights and ensure a safe and secure border; and an effective system to adjudicate claims in a timely, humane and fair manner.

Providing humanitarian help stands among the finest traditions of our nation. It is a requirement of the human trafficking law reauthorized and expanded by Congress in 2008 that enables vulnerable children to receive immigration support and care in their best interest.

At Catholic Charities we have longstanding, comprehensive knowledge of the humanitarian plight faced by immigrants including unaccompanied minor children.  For more than a century we have served newcomers from more than 100 countries of all religions with legal, educational and social services.

Now, every week in residences for unaccompanied youth in the New York area, Catholic Charities’ team of lawyers and paralegals provides legal and social services to provide individual legal representation for dozens of children who have been released from New York area shelters, a central step in their integration into their communities.  Catholic Charities New York also recently helped found Terra Firma, an innovative medical-legal partnership designed to meet the complex medical, psycho-social, and legal needs of unaccompanied minors.

This gives us first-hand knowledge of the trauma these vulnerable children face.  Catholic Charities has witnessed how deportation can be a far worse punishment than most criminal penalties, one that can mean the loss of family, home and security. It is imperative to determine the rights U.S. immigration affords these children and ensure their claims receive a fair hearing.  Proposals to establish processing systems to review claims in Central American countries merit serious consideration to reduce risks faced by unaccompanied minors and other aspects of this humanitarian crisis.

The current crisis is another example of the need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform that addresses a fair and humane legal immigration system; secures the border; prioritizes reunification of families and provides for those living in the shadows a system to earn their way toward legalization.