Religious Leaders Hold ‘Pilgrimage’ For Immigration Reform | St. Louis Public Radio

Religious Leaders Hold ‘Pilgrimage’ For Immigration Reform

Oct 5, 2013

Even though most of the political discussion in Congress is focused on fully funding the government, last Wednesday an immigration bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Saturday, a more than five mile interfaith “pilgrimage” from St. Cecilia Catholic Church in south St. Louis City to St. Alphonsus “Rock” Catholic Church in mid-town was aimed at returning immigration reform to the political forefront.

The march was one of 100 similar events held across the country.

“All of us, we have a common goal and a common purpose to walk with our immigrant brothers and sisters,” said Javier Orozco, director of Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of St Louis.  “To ask that their rights also be heard, and that the reform around immigration be comprehensive, be just, and that it reflect the best of our values as a society.”

Pat Dougherty, senior director of advocacy for Catholic Charities of St. Louis, said he’d prefer that a comprehensive immigration reform plan clear Congress, but if the House takes a piecemeal approach, that’s fine by him, as long as it gets done.

“I think the basic message is we’re all brothers and sisters, and one of the biggest challenges in our country today is immigration reform, which includes a path to citizenship” Dougherty said.  “Our religious traditions today are brought to the fore when many faiths are out here trying to come together to show support and to challenge our Congress people to do the right thing.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, immigration rights advocates say they're planning to hold a major rally in Washington D.C. 

Follow Tim Lloyd on Twitter: @TimSLloyd