Just a few days after the new president was inaugurated, he began making drastic changes in our country. People took to the streets, and the airports, in protest of the measure which banned immigrants from seven Muslim countries, and Syrian refugees. Though it was denied that this was a “Muslim ban”, it is hard to reason why Christian refugees were still allowed to enter the country, under this temporary executive order. In response to this order many bishops of the Catholic Church have spoken out against the order, calling the faithful to act in solidarity with the refugees and make their voices heard in defense of human dignity, citing the Church’s long-standing commitment to care for the defenseless of other faiths. The Catholic Church is a refuge for the defenseless, the stranger, the marginalized. Likewise, many institutions across the country have proclaimed their status as a sanctuary for those affected by this executive order, or any future order which does not regard their human dignity and basic human rights.
In a letter to the school in December, Loyola University Chicago President, Dr. Jo Ann Rooney said the following:
On Wednesday, a statement of support was published by the presidents of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) to reaffirm our commitment to undocumented students on our campuses and our unwavering support for all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of their faith traditions. This statement reflects the shared mission and values that are central to our Jesuit, Catholic tradition.
On behalf of the University, I also signed on to a statement of support initiated by Pomona College, which now has more than 400 signatures.
I encourage you to read both statements and thank you for your continued support and contributions to our mission.
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD
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The events of the past weeks have been troubling in so many ways, but one note of encouragement has been the way people are coming together in solidarity across the country to stand up for the rights of others. I attended the protests at Chicago O’Hare airport and witnessed the diversity of the people protesting. The love and acceptance was palpable. These events have reminded people of basic shared humanity, and how the threat to basic human rights can tear lives apart. People stood together to make a statement that these actions will continue to be resisted, challenged, and overturned. Those with any amount of power will continue to use their power to help the powerless and the defenseless. At Loyola, we will continue to be people with and for others.
Photography by Beatrice Phelps Kouvalis
To see more of my photography visit http://www.seefeellive.com.