National Migration Week to be Celebrated January 4-10
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Migration Week on January 4-10, 2009. This year's theme, Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice, "reminds us of our obligation to bring hope to the hopeless and to seek justice for those who are easily exploited," said Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, in a letter sent every parish and Catholic school across the country.
"For many migrant communities, injustice and hardship are too commonplace an experience. Given the often marginal and vulnerable status of migrants, it is important that communities everywhere treat migrants justly and provide a welcoming presence to all people on the move," said Bishop Wester.
This year national migration week sheds light on the religious, political and cultural aspects of migration in all its forms. The bishops hope the resources the USCCB has made available will help Catholics become familiar with the many issues surrounding migration.
"As the face of local churches continues to change, information of this kind is becoming more and more important. Individuals, families, schools and parishes need opportunities like National Migration Week to learn the realities about newcomers entering their communities," said Todd Scribner, education coordinator for the Migration and Refugee Services of the USCCB.
Last April, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the Bishops of the United States to continue to act in this regard.
"I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials, and to help them flourish in their new home," said the pope.
The materials include several bulletin inserts that address issues related to human trafficking, immigration, refugees, and Catholic social teaching on migration; information on how to acquire the revised edition of Unity in Diversity: A Scriptural Rosary, to guide spiritual reflection on migration; and a foldout poster. Several of these resources are available also in Spanish.
Latino bishop appointed to Diocese of Sacramento
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop William K. Weigand, 71, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Sacramento, California. Bishop Jaime Soto, 52, who has been co-adjutor bishop of Sacramento since October 11, 2007, succeeds him.
Jaime Soto was born December 31, 1955, in Inglewood, California. He attended St. John’s Seminary College in Camarillo, California, and there earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 1978, and Master of Divinity degree in 1982.
He earned a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1986. Bishop Soto’s pastoral experience includes work in Catholic Charities, immigration reform and ministry to the Hispanic community. As a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) he is a member of the USCCB Administrative Committee; Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America; a member of the Committee on the Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; a member of the Committee on National Collections; and a member of the Task Force on the Spanish Language Bible and the Task Force on Promotion of Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., CLINIC.