Immigration, Now and Then

Immigration is a hot political topic today. It’s not just an issue here in America; it’s a world issue. Millions of people all over the world are on the move today because of wars, violence and because they can’t make a living on lands affected by climate change.

Our first reading today at Mass is about Abraham, the “wandering Aramean” whom God blessed as he went from place to place. May God bless those wandering from place to place today.

Today also is St. Patrick’s day. This was a big day in the place where I was born and raised, Bayonne, NJ, a city of immigrants, many from Ireland. The Irish went to church today to thank God for the faith brought to them by St. Patrick and for being able to live in a country where they could make a living and bring up their families, hoping for a better life.

Years ago, I visited the place where some of my relatives came from in Donegal, in northern Ireland. I saw the little abandoned farm house, with no roof, where some of them lived. An old man in the neighborhood remembered the day they left for America, three young people carrying away their simple belongings. It was all they had. There was no work for them there anymore.

When they came to America they took whatever jobs they could get. It had to be hard for them making their way in a new land and another way of living. But they helped one another, and that’s one of the things I remember about that immigrant generation. They helped one another.

I took a picture of that abandoned house in Donegal and gave it to my relatives. I see it’s still hung proudly in their house when I visit. We have to remember where we come from. We’re children of Abraham, on our way to a place that’s still before us. We have to stick together.

7 thoughts on “Immigration, Now and Then

  1. Bill O'Donnell

    Happy St Patrick’s Day Fr Victor…Thank God for our ancestors…Your 2nd cousin…
    William Patrick O’Donnell

    Like

  2. cenaclemary12

    A little knot knowledge!
    A common interlace knot-pattern is the Trinity Knot, which has 3 outer lobes or petals, and any number of curvilinear weavings within its centre. the unending knot interlace pattern represents the unending continuum of life, while the crossing and recrossing of the plaits is emblematic of the ongoing connection between the physical and emotional/spiritual planes. For example, the three-lobed Trinity knot (or Triquetra), symbolizes the inter-connection of the three planes of existence: mind, body, and spirit.
    More info at http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/cultural-history-of-ireland/celtic-knots
    The artist and the monastic seek the same thing. Basic to art are the very qualities of the monastic:
    single-mindedness, the search for beauty, immersion in praise and creativity. (MOH p.197-199)
    Artists flocked to monasteries to make visible the infinite dimensions of the invisible God. (MOH p.196)
    Monastery of the Heart by S.Joan Chittister

    Like

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