Mission ad Extra, Immigration and the Challenge to the USA


Mission and vocation awareness and action is best expressed and experienced through the ordinary things, cultural icons and national issues that affect the thinking and acting of Americans everyday, especially when they are part of its anxiety. Immigration is a political issue which is even more fundamentally is a faith issue, an effect of proclaiming Christ worldwide and the sacramentalization, or divine enfleshment of the words of our Founder, “May the world be one family.”

Robert Schreiter, in a recent talk at CTU says: “In the USA today, as in many nations, there is a greater resistance to immigration in our society, even though every study shows that we need immigrants to maintain our economy. The US Bishops have consistently stood up for the rights of immigrants. There is a cultural amnesia among US citizens of European descent that, not so long ago, our ancestors too were immigrants. There is a turn in thinking about multicultural issues in this country away from celebrating the gifts of diversity to showing how, in multicultural neighborhoods, social capital is reduced, rather than increased.”

Awareness of mission ad gentes, ad extra needs to find expression in a celebration of our plurality, notwithstanding the tensions and difficulties that accompany our fundamental relationship with all of humanity, all cultures. That bond is not merely a political-economic, or social tie, but something much deeper that resounds from the heavens themselves: Christ died and rose for all of humanity, each man, woman and child in all cultures, no matter what they believe. Therefore, this bond to all cultures, is a tie created in the heavens, expressed even through our political economy.

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