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Statement from Bishop Deeley: Solidarity with Refugees

The executive order approved by President Trump last Friday has left many refugee families in Maine, as well as their family members still seeking entry into the United States, filled with anxiety and fear about what will happen to them. This time of grave difficulty for some of our brothers and sisters calls us to show our concern and solidarity.

As it has for the past 40 years and in keeping with Catholic social teaching, the Diocese of Portland stands behind the Refugee & Immigration Services program of Catholic Charities Maine, which helps individuals and families who flee from violence and come to America seeking compassion, care, stability, and peace. Extending ourselves to refugees is particularly important in Maine, where jobs and opportunities await their presence and contributions.

In this time of uncertainty and division, it is heartwarming to see our young people living their faith by enthusiastically striving to alleviate the suffering of many. For instance, during Catholic Schools Week, the students at St. Thomas School in Sanford will “welcome the stranger” by collecting supplies and donations for refugees receiving assistance from Refugee & Immigration Services. It is one of countless service projects and works of mercy presently on display throughout the state and country, inspiring and courageous efforts that truly define the greatness of our nation and answer our baptismal call to serve the most vulnerable among us, regardless of whether they are born in America or are new arrivals.

Please join me in asking God to protect all refugees in their travels. May they find a loving and welcoming people in our country, and may our kindness and care make us worthy of the refuge we all find in the Lord.