“There is neither Jew nor Greek . . . for you are all one in Christ Jesus”
As many of our school families already know, the St. Thomas Aquinas School Commission recently adopted an Immigration Policy resolution instructing all school employees and contractors to refrain from inquiring into the immigration status of any students or school families or otherwise assist in detecting undocumented individuals within our school community unless compelled to do so by law or valid order of a court.
Recent events including the ban on refugees, efforts to limit Muslim immigration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids have convinced the Parish Council of the need to make a statement affirming St. Thomas Aquinas’s respect for the dignity and well-being of all persons and families and our deep commitment to serve as a hope to the hopeless.
We are called to remember that the Holy Family fled to Egypt to escape violence, making our Savior himself a refugee. And Jesus, who sat down with the Samaritan woman at the well, told us that the Father would remember us by how we treated the strangers we encounter in life: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Mt 25:35).
We, the Parish Council of St. Thomas Aquinas, along with Father Steve hereby resolve that it is the policy of St. Thomas Aquinas that no staff, Parish Council members, volunteers, contractors or representatives shall inquire into the immigration status of any parishioners or guests of St. Thomas Aquinas, except insofar as such information is needed in the course of pastoral care and then kept strictly confidential.
Further, be it resolved that no staff, Parish Council members, volunteers, contractors or representatives of St. Thomas Aquinas shall disclose to any immigration or law enforcement representatives the immigration status of any parishioners or guests of St. Thomas Aquinas unless compelled to do so by law or valid court order, or unless the individual affected gives consent in writing, nor will any staff, Parish Council members, volunteers, contractors or representatives of St. Thomas Aquinas allow entry by immigration enforcement officers onto church grounds unless instructed to do so by the General Counsel of the Archdiocese or unless said officer has a valid court order allowing entry.
The Parish Council further urges the parishioners of St. Thomas Aquinas to prayerfully discern how each of us can give aid to our migrant brothers and sisters in these difficult times, whether it be hosting a family for dinner, volunteering, bringing pressure to bear on elected officials or participating in peaceful protest.
Father Steve Schwab
Will Fay, President Tim DeLaney, VP Tom Mulhern, Secretary