Immigration Reform: A Catholic Perspective

By: Maria Vertrees, Social Justice Coordinator at St. Charles Borromeo, Arlington 

Peace and Justice Commission


Every Fall, the Arlington Diocese Peace and Justice Commission holds a conference focusing on Catholic social teaching.  It is an excellent opportunity to discuss current events in light of our faith. Participants are encouraged to consider how they can actively live out their faith, both in their personal lives and as public citizens.  Recent Peace and Justice conferences have focused on Faithful Citizenship and Care for Creation.  This year’s theme is “Immigration Reform: A Catholic Perspective.” 

We are honored this year to begin the day with Mass celebrated by Bishop Paul S. Loverde.  Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, former chair of USCCB’s Migration Committee, will concelebrate the Mass and give the keynote address.  We are delighted that we will have two men of such great faith and dedication to Catholic principles speak at the conference.  Breakout sessions and workshops will follow Mass and the keynote address. 

This year’s conference will offer the opportunity to learn the Catholic social teaching on immigration reform and provide breakout sessions with the opportunity for discussions. The Virginia Catholic Conference and the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants will conduct sessions on immigration advocacy and looking towards the future.  St. Anthony Youth Minister Maria Calacan will facilitate a session on building a community in a diverse parish. 

This year’s conference will be from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. at St. John Neumann, Reston.  For more information, you may contact me, Marisa Vertrees, 703-527-5500 x 24, or  You may also download a flyer at  We hope you are able to join many from across the Diocese of Arlington to learn more about this timely and relevant issue.

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