MOUNT ANGEL — Archbishop Alexander Sample stood before scores of immigrants, many of whom are anxious because of stepped-up federal detention policy.
“I’m here to show my love to all of you and to stand humbly in solidarity with all of you,” Archbishop Sample said during a presentation inside St. Mary Church here after Palm Sunday Mass. “I know that these are very, very difficult days and I wanted you to know that your shepherd stands with you and wanted you to know that the whole church in this archdiocese stands with you.”
Father Domenico Di Raimondo of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit translated the archbishop’s words of comfort into Spanish. The crowd applauded wildly after the archbishop spoke.
Benedictine Father Philip Waibel, pastor of St. Mary, attended to show his love and support.
The day was one of many that Catholic Charities workers have offered in parishes around western Oregon to inform immigrants about their legal rights. The archbishop’s visit was a special addition.
Maria Flores, a parishioner for the past year, said that the archbishop’s message and the legal information were important for her.
“I’m afraid for me. I’m afraid for my husband. I’m afraid for my children,” Flores said in Spanish. “This country is part of our lives and that is why we are here. In Mexico we won’t be safe and we won’t have a future. That is why we are here.”