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BOSTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The archbishop of Boston is urging parishes to help illegal immigrants as the state faces a shortage of space for incoming migrants.
In a letter to pastors sent on Tuesday, Cdl. Seán O'Malley expressed deep concern over the unfolding humanitarian crisis within the state and the archdiocese.
"I write to you today to speak about a major humanitarian and societal crisis that is building in the State of Massachusetts and within our Archdiocese," O'Malley penned.
"Please take the time to review this letter with your parish staff and prepare your parishioners to be ready and willing to assist," urged O'Malley. His message highlights the continuous arrival of illegal immigrants in need of what he described as "basic shelter and compassionate care and welcome."
Governor Maura Healey recently announced that by Nov. 1, the state's emergency shelters will cease to accommodate additional families, including migrants, as they approach their capacity with 7,000 families already seeking refuge.
In his letter, O'Malley acknowledges the efforts of several organizations within the archdiocese. He mentions Catholic Charities, the St. Mary's Center for Women and Children, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs and some parishes for collaborating with state leaders to address the crisis.
Despite these efforts, O'Malley foresees the crisis escalating. Given this outlook, he is urging parishes to intensify their efforts, especially with the onset of the harsh New England winter weather.
"The challenge is a local one in the sense that only some of the neighborhoods and parish communities will deal with shelters in their areas; however, the challenge is for all of us as an Archdiocese," stated O'Malley.
In preparation for the winter, a partnership with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has formed to collect and distribute essential items this November.
"The Saint Vincent de Paul Society has the appropriate storage and ability to collect and distribute items directly to those in need," the cardinal wrote.
O'Malley emphasized the expanding nature of the crisis, indicating the importance of immediate action.
His call to action echoes Pope Francis' urging for Catholics to attend to those on the peripheries, like illegal immigrants.
"I offer this invitation in the spirit of Pope Francis, who has asked us as Catholics to watch the 'peripheries' of society where suffering is located," O'Malley posited.
Toward the end of his letter, O'Malley expressed hope for a generous and effective response from the Church to aid illegal immigrants.
"In our time, migrants and refugees are among the most vulnerable individuals and families in the United States," he noted. "It is my hope and desire that as a Church we respond generously and effectively."
While the migrant situation is critical, not everyone perceives in a positive light the efforts spearheaded by religious leaders like Cdl. O'Malley.
The Deposit of Faith Coalition — a group of more than a dozen Catholic or largely Catholic-led organizations fed up with U.S. bishops' use of Americans' tax money to undermine the nation — voices concerns over the alignment between religious leaders and political agendas under the guise of humanitarian aid.
The group contends efforts like those led by Cdl. O'Malley reflect a broader trend of channeling resources toward masked political causes.
The coalition is gearing up to hold a national press conference in Baltimore Nov. 14 to highlight how the bishops stump for the climate agenda that's associated with Democratic and communist ideologies.
The coalition aims to shed light on these concerns and challenge the blending of religious leadership with leftist political agendas.