Remembering Our Migrant Neighbors During Lent
The following are suggestions for one to do during Lent that connect with the Lenten themes of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. They are related to the Catholic Social Teachings of the Church. We hope you find them bringing you closer to Jesus in one another.
Prayer and Reflection
- Pray the social justice stations of the cross:
- Each day of Lent, pick a country (Germany, Ireland, Syria, Mexico, Italy, etc.) and pray for its people.
- Visit a church having Mass in a different language that you speak.
- Pray with your children as you read the “WE STORIES” books (www.westories.org).
- Pray this special prayer for migrants every day of Lent:
“Lord God, open my heart to all who are far away from their homes. I pray that when I see someone that looks or talks differently than me, I will see Jesus in their face and treat them with respect. When Mary and Joseph had to travel from their home, they were welcomed by strangers; give me the courage to make everyone, especially migrants that come into my life, feel welcome. Help me to show Jesus’ love to them. May my words and actions help others feel alive in Christ so that we may all be united in your love. I asked this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
- For inspiration, pray one of the “Fasting to Feasting” prayers (enter “fasting to feasting prayers” in your internet browser)
- Fast from TV or social media and use the time, instead, to:
- Write a letter to an immigrant child, or a family who faces deportation, or a person applying for asylum from persecution. Forward your letter to St. Francis Community Services, 4445 Lindell Blvd., 63108, and it will be delivered to a client in that situation.
- Have children draw a picture of how they envision “all God’s people …” Forward it to St. Francis Community Services and it will be published online for all to see!
- Fast from spreading mis-truths about immigrants or accepting stereotypes without question. Instead:
- Visit the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: www.usccb.org. Look under “Issues and Action” / “Human Life and Dignity” for Catholic social teaching on immigration.
- Invite a representative of the Peace and Justice Commission or St. Francis Community Services to speak at your parish, at an organization meeting, or to a group of people you invite to your home.
- Have a simple meal at your house with some neighbors, or give up something you often purchase (a soda, for instance), and donate the money saved to an organization that serves immigrants/refugees, such as St. Francis Community Services’ Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry and Southside Center (www.sfcsstl.org/donate).
- Contact St. Francis Community Services to:
- Donate goods, such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, kitchen items, baby diapers/wipes, and more to a family.
- Volunteer to:
- Help an immigrant study for their naturalization test.
- Help an immigrant learn English.
- Drive an immigrant to a doctor’s appointment or job interview.
- Help tutor immigrant children in the after school program at St. Francis Community Services’ Southside Center.