“A stranger, and you welcomed me…”

This was the clarion cry of the Diocese of San Bernardino Migration Mass held in Riverside County on January 10, 2016, at Our Lady of Soledad, Coachella, California.

I attended the protracted mass, complete with pomp, regalia, ritual and a heavy dose of quilt.

You see, the above quote is from the Bible, Matthew 25:35: “For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in.” These are the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus’ words are directed to individuals, to believers. These are those who are to inherit eternal life. These words are a statement to Jesus’ disciples concerning each’s individual responsibility. Cumulatively the mandate then could be a church responsibility. Yet the message is directed toward individuals.

The church, per se, as a body of believers, is not part of this Bible verse.

Now, records show that a huge part of Catholic Charities is not entirely funded by the church. The Catholic Church receives “… billions of taxpayer dollars for refugee resettlement and general immigration services…” On the date of the mass we interviewed Cardinal Roger Mahoney. He said “The [refugees] we know most are the Syrian Christians.”

Question to the Cardinal: “Is the Catholic Church getting funding for resettlement of refugees?” Answer: “I have no idea.” “We have been settling refugees with funds from the Federal government since the early 1880’s” “The Jewish resettlement; the Lutheran resettlement and other groups all get some kind of assistance.” The question remains, do you want your tax dollars used this way when we are not taking care of our veterans, the homeless, and Americans who want a job and are willing to work?

Reference: We the People Rising at robinhvidston@wethepeoplerising.com (January 14, 2016)