Pax Christi USA attended the “Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers” yesterday including the Mass led by PCUSA Bishop President John Stowe followed by prayer and civil disobedience.

Jean Stokan (far left) leads procession of the 42 Catholic leaders intending to be arrested in the Russell Senate building rotunda.

Forty-two nonviolent arrests of Catholic leaders took place in the Russell Senate building rotunda. Among those arrested were PCUSA national council members Gerry Lee and Jean Stokan and Teacher of Peace, Art Laffin.

All were advocating that the Dream Act be passed now. March 5 is the day Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expires; therefore, Congress needs to pass a bill that allows for a clean pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. Otherwise, they will continue to live in fear and will be without basic rights like protection from being deported and the ability to have a driver’s license, apply for school loans, or legally obtain a job.

The lack of action by Congress, and the choice to terminate DACA by the president is a severe affront to the dignity of Dreamers. They are human beings, and their dignity is much more important than the country of their births.

During his homily yesterday, Bishop Stowe spoke about the human rights of all Dreamers and said, “We are born with them [human rights], and we are given them by our creator.”

Bishop President of PCUSA, John Stowe, speaks to the crowd of advocates for the Dream Act.

Stowe also called upon Congress by quoting Scripture, “Cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim” (IS 1:16-17). Congress needs to make justice their priority, cease the fear inflicted upon families who have undocumented members, and create a clean pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

The “Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers” was a powerful witness to not only the human dignity of Dreamers but also to how much we need one another to stay together. Dreamers have been with us for years, this country is their home, they are integral members of society, and we don’t want them to be forced out.

30 thoughts on “PCUSA Leaders Arrested and Bishop President Stowe Speaks at “Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers”

  1. Congratulations to each one of you for standing up to the dignity and human rights of the Dreamers and of all of us. Let us continue to be in solidarity.

  2. Either we embrace and live by our Sacred Books for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam..or we betray
    God’s gift to all creation.
    Your witness on behalf of our Dreamers is the preaching we most need.
    Sr Loretta Sullivan, OP

  3. I’m with you all the way! Keep up the actions in spite of the arrests! Yes, we must be a voice for the voiceless to build the Reign of God!

  4. As a representative for the Association of US Catholic Priests as well a long-time Pax Christi USA member and after having served with the Church in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua — countries of origin of thousands of the Dreamerss — It was a great moment to be arrested with Scott Wright, Art Laflin and so many other long-time witnesses to Gospel nonviolence and “love for the resident alien.” (Dt 10:19)

  5. Thank you so much for this witness. I will continue to hold this issue and others in prayer. I will support anyway I can.

  6. Doing justice at time requires sacrifice. I pray, your courage and faith our the determination factors for you. Blessing Always, Rev. John

  7. Thank you to Jean, Art and Gerry for your bold, courageous and faith-filled action! The Pax Christi community stands with you and the Dreamers.

  8. Jean, you were my group leader in El Salvador in 2015 and I so admired you then and continue to see your courage in standing up for justice foe our sisters and brothers. Thank you for your witness. You are in my prayers. I wish I could walk with you. I am there in spirit. Blessings and gratitude..
    Mary Louise

  9. Monique Schwirtz OSF
    Thank you for your courageous action. I /we continue to keep this important issue in prayer.

  10. Prayerful thanks to all who stood for the Dreamers…God be with the Dreamers and all who support them!

  11. Thank you for your powerful and faith-filled witness of goodwill, hope and love. With love and prayers. #proudofmychurch. Suzanne

  12. The Dreamers of the Hispanic Community have done so much to fortify and breath new life into our Catholic Church in so many parishes around our country. I am grateful that we are now trying to support them after all the solidarity they have given us.

    1. Yes I give permission for you to use my comment. I am with you in prayer, especially at the Eucharist.

  13. I wish I could have been there, was with you in spirit. God bless you all for your witness.

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