Written by Sister Simone Campbell, SSS
June 7, 2013
We just left the Archdiocesan Catholic Charities Center in
Metairie. It is in an old brick school building that they have refurbished in a
wonderful way. They have light yellow walls, big windows and lots of space for their
comprehensive program. The Office of Peace and Justice, along with the office
for migration and refugees and Hispanic ministries are all in one of the school
buildings. In the back building is the office for the Spirituality Center. Art
that is both moving and symbolic of the work being done there is on the walls
everywhere. Such a comprehensive program to serve the whole person!
We were told that they had recently done a health fair with
the local university, which included spiritual counseling as a part of the day.
This integrated service is such a tribute to the work of the staff and
archdiocesan vision of the whole person.
We learned that the majority of the Hispanic immigrants come
from Honduras. The refugee community was largely Vietnamese until the last ten
years. Now the refugee community is composed of Iraqis, Cubans and Burmese. The
Center works with victims of trafficking and other forms of violence.
We were told that the justice center before Katrina served
between 2000 and 2500 people a year. Now, since Katrina they are serving almost
10,000 people. There is a huge need after all of the dislocation and influx of
people to help in the rebuilding. So much work to be done to achieve justice.
Now on the road to Houston—a long drive for justice! Doing missionary work to
get senators’ votes for Comprehensive Immigration reform NOW.