Mobilizing Your Parish Community (Back to Immigration Toolkit)
Step 1: Educate
Not everyone within your parish will be aware of and onboard with working on immigration reform. Some may be willing to help lead the effort, but the vast majority might simply be on the fence, seeking further education on the issue and needing encouragement to take an action which speaks to our core faith values. Therefore, it is essential to find ways to build awareness and educate people about the issue.
To support these parishioners in increasing their commitment, you need to provide:
- Awareness – providing opportunities to spark interest in the issue
- Education – in order to commit to taking action in support of just immigration reform, individuals will most likely need to increase their knowledge and understanding of the issue
1. What could create initial awareness about immigration reform, and what would that look like in your parish?
- Using simple bulletin announcements over a period of weeks can be a very simple way to spark interest and attention around just immigration reform.
- Signs/posters around your parish and/or one-page flier inserts in a parish bulletin can be another simple and effective way to build awareness.
2. What would creating educational opportunities look like within your parish?
- Making copies of the Minnesota bishops’ document, “Unlocking the Gate in Our Hearts,” available at your parish.
- Making copies of the JFI Myths & Facts about Immigration handout available at your parish.
- Sharing your passion about this particular issue with your pastor and seeing if he might be willing to speak about it from the pulpit. The Minnesota bishops’ document provides great material for preaching on just immigration reform.
- Host a Catholic Social Teaching Reflection with a small group of interested individuals.
- Share resources for further learning.