The spirit of the Christmas season was upon the city as Timothy Cardinal Dolan welcomed two refugee families to New York at Midnight Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Dolan asked worshipers at the church to open their hearts to two brothers, ages 17 and 19, from El Salvador. The siblings immigrated in 2014 to the U.S. to avoid gang violence and persecution. He also brought attention to a Muslim family from Ivory Coast. The family included a mother, father and their three children.
The cardinal’s remarks:
There are two families that I’ve especially like to welcome this evening. And their presence here, I think you will agree with me, is very Christmasy. I’m not going to ask them to stand. I’m not going to point them out. I’m not even going to say their names, because I respect their privacy. But they’re actually two refugee families. Both of whom have been enjoying American hospitality and are being resettled here, thanks to Catholic Charities Of The Archdiocese Of New York. One who fled who fled terror and the threat of retribution in El Salvador. And another, a Muslim family, a refugee family who fled from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. Once again, I’m not going to ask them to stand or say their names but I think you would unite with me as we celebrate this night when Jesus was born away from home into a family that would soon flee as refugees into safety from an oppressive king into Egypt. I think you would join me in welcoming those two families.
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