Address by Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco

“Each migrant has a name, a face and a story,” once noted Pope Francis, and behind every immigrant story is a very real, very moving, and sometimes tragic human experience. Immigration is an issue that perhaps more than any other looks very different when one puts a human face to it. When immigrants are no longer seen as merely a danger to others or threats to the local community but instead as persons, our feelings of animosity can morph into feelings of love and concern. As Catholics, we are called not only to “know” the stranger through the stranger’s stories but to welcome the stranger as Christ himself, for Christ reveals himself to us through them: “I was…a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35). An essential component of our role in welcoming the stranger is to place special attention on integration – uplifting the newcomer to help him or her reach full and dignified participation in our Church and society.

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