On Sunday, July 1, at 10 a.m., Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, will celebrate a Mass at San Fernando Cathedral in commemoration of César Chávez and also call for comprehensive immigration reform, advocating for an end to family separation as well as indefinite detention. The theme for the event will be taken from Ephesians 2:19, “So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family.”
The images and stories that have come to light recently as the result of the “zero tolerance” and “family separation” policies at the U.S.-Mexico border demand from all a profound discernment over alleviating the suffering of those who have been affected by such measures. They also call for a discernment of steps that can be taken to assure that the kind of just and merciful comprehensive immigration reform that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been promoting for years is finally approved. With this event, the archdiocese invites all to undergo a process of personal and communitarian discernment as well as immediate action in favor of immigrants and refugees whose dignity is being ignored.
César Chávez offers a compelling image of a man that is moved by the circumstances to serve others by organizing them. After the conclusion of the liturgy, there will be testimonies from people that have been affected by these policies, such as Dreamers, and children will pray a Hail Mary at an image of the Sacred Family placed at the front of the sanctuary. Postcards will also be distributed at the doors of the cathedral following the Mass for those interested in contacting their Senators and representatives in Congress regarding these issues.