In a recent discussion with Jeff Odendahl concerning how to impact attitudes toward immigrants, I was deeply moved by Jeff's conviction that we use arguments based on gospel values and not on financial economy. It is true that "immigration stimulates economic growth by creating new consumers, entrepeneurs and investors", as pointed out by Doris Meissner in her op-ed, Four Myths About Immigration, in the Mpls Tribune May 7, 2010(http://www.startribune.com/) This is fine. However, it is not a Franciscan reason for supporting a welcoming attitude toward immigrants. Though much of the current debate is based on popular myths, the most powerful supportive arguments are those flowing from deep-seated belief that we are profoundly connected to everyone else. What is done to any person, matters to all of humanity.
In about 2004 the government of Spain moved to legalize immigrants who were in Spain illegally. Some reasons for legalization were economic. I read at the time, however, that a large concern was what happened to Spanish citizens when they were bent on ridding their country of "those people." They were truly bent humans, bent out of shape, distorting God-made wholeness and dignity. I want to work with Jeff, who is putting his shoulder to the wheel to lead U. S. citizens to stand tall in the fullness of wisdom, faith and humility in regard to our place in sharing the God-given gift of Earth.
Written by Sister Jan Kilian, this blog will give an understanding of what it’s like to be Franciscan. Living out the spirit of Saint Francis, we see all God’s creation as brother and sister. We, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, are committed to building relationships and community, ministering wherever there is greatest need, promoting justice and healing Mother Earth’s wounds. My writings will give a glimpse of the compassion, spirituality, interconnectedness and goodness of living Franciscan.