To read Issue #14, click to download.
This issue of LJR takes on the subject of refugees, displaced people and migrants.
In 2016, 600 migrants died when their boat capsized near Italy's Lampedusa Island. After this tragedy, Pope Francis decried the "globalization of indifference", and asked the world: "Has any one of us wept for these persons who were on the boat?" Recently, the Pope used the word "parrhesia" ["boldness inspired by the Holy Spirit"] to goad and guide Church and government policy-makers to action regarding the world's displaced people. Parrhesia is intended to inspire, motivate, and offer clear direction and robust support for the slow, difficult, often controversial, work of "welcoming the stranger".
For years, St. John's has acted boldly, and prophetically, in the face of refugee and migrant needs. John McLaren's article chronicles St. John's past refugee commitments. Sara Chu's feature article traces the important, but little-known, "root causes" of Central American asylum-seekers on the Southern U.S. border today. A number of our other articles advocate for a humane approach to all refugees and displaced people on the move in search of a better future for their children. In spite of opposition, President Biden announced on May 3/21 that he will raise the quota of refugees allowed into the US to 62,500 for this fiscal year, and promises 125,000 new admissions in 2022. This turnaround has been welcomed by migrant-justice advocates in the U.S. and Canada.
LJR also presents a number of articles on the topic of COVID-19. Nicaraguan poet Gioconda Belli recently wrote: "Solidarity is the tenderness of nations!" Indeed, solidarity and tenderness are indispensable, not only for refugees and migrants, but also in the battle against COVID-19, particularly as it applies to "vaccine equity". As the Third Wave of COVID-19 and the tragedy unfolding in India continue to afflict the world, Judy Jackson's powerful interview with Stephen Lewis on "patent waivers" is highly recommended! Our series entitled: "Churches Walking the Talk!" continues and incisive reflections by Richard Rohr book-end this issue.
Once again, LJR is indebted to Karyn Lehmann, Carol-Ann Zenger, Sara Chu and Karen Coverett for their diverse skills in the production, roll-out and dissemination of this, our fourteenth quarterly newsletter. Enjoy your summer, folks ... and let's all double-down on COVID! We can't let-up now!