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Affirming Our Common Humanity

On Sunday, October 28, my immigrant Catholic parish was shaken by the news of eleven Jews being killed at a U.S. synagogue by a man with a gun. Prior to the shooting, the man had ranted about a Jewish organization whose mission is to help refugees of all faiths find safety.

For my Catholic parishioners and me, the link between being immigrants, refugees, and children of immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, and Jews being blamed for the existence of refugees, was scary and heartbreaking.

Later that day I took a group of parishioners to an interfaith vigil of about a thousand people. We were Jews, Catholics, other Christians, Muslims—people of goodwill. We kept affirming our common humanity. At one point we were encouraged to take four minutes to connect with someone we didn’t know and listen to each other about how we were feeling. I served as a translator so that Spanish-speaking members from my parish could connect with English speakers. It was lovely how people could make a connection with each other in a few minutes.

We were also encouraged to reach out to people who don’t agree with us. I am committed to discharging and thinking about the people I will reach out to—family, friends, colleagues—in order to contradict the distance that has crept into our relationships as politics have become more partisan and painful. I believe that as Co-Counselors we can play an important role in reaching for people who disagree with us and in modeling how to do this.

Ellie Hidalgo

Los Angeles, California, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion
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Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00