Published in The Advocate, 3/22/2015
By Andrea Gallo, The Advocate reporter
Twelve minutes before she was to be reunited with her son, Catherine Clarke broke down.
More than 10 years of missing her baby boy — who she left at a refugee camp in western sub-Saharan Africa when he was a teenager and she came to the United States — came tumbling out of her. The 59-year-old mother screamed, hissed, sobbed and laughed as she squirmed in a plastic gray chair at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.
Published in The Advocate, 3/5/2016
Abortion alternative presented
by Mark H. Hunter, Special to The Advocate
Nina, a waitress who works in a busy New York City restaurant, discovers she is pregnant and decides to have an abortion because, she tells a friend, “I can’t even take care of myself, let alone a baby.”
Her friend Jose, the restaurant’s chef, counsels her to consider adoption but supports her by accompanying her to an abortion clinic. While lying on the table, Nina realizes she can’t go through with it and eventually gives the baby up for adoption to Jose, who is not the biological father.
By Richard Meek, The Catholic Commentator, published 10/30/2015
Heartbreaking pictures of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing war ravaged Syria continues to touch the public’s conscience daily. Perhaps no image is more horrific than that of a 3-year-old boy who drowned and his body washed up on shore near a Turkish resort.
As the refugee crisis continues to escalate, Corina Salazar looks on with a heightened sense of awareness. As director of Refugee and Immigration Services for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, she fully understands the faces she sees in media reports from across the globe may be the same people she will greet as they step off a plane in Baton Rouge to settle into a new life.
In fact, Salazar said she is surprised her agency has yet to be contacted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding potential acceptance of refugees.
Grounded by our belief in Jesus Christ and Catholic teaching, Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program has been welcoming people to our Diocese since 1974. Chances are ... you know someone we helped. In response to the flood of misinformation spreading through social media and the high volume of inquiries we've received in the past few days, we've put together a list of FAQs concerning Syrian refugees in Louisiana and the refugee process. Check back for future developments.
You can help. Please share our message. Read the message from the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Archbishop of New Orleans’ message about the Catholic Church’s role in resettlement. Get the real facts about the resettlement process from a reliable source. Open your heart and answer Jesus' biblical call to welcome the stranger.
How many refugees, and specifically Syrians, are in the Baton Rouge area?
A State Department web site reveals 15 total refugees, of all nationalities, have resettled in Louisiana in the month of October, since the Federal government announced it would resettle 10,000 Syrians throughout the nation.
None, 0, of these 15 are from Syria. Most are from Asia.
Currently there are no Syrians scheduled for resettlement in the Diocese of Baton Rouge through March of 2016.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge resettled one, 1, Syrian last year, and that person subsequently moved out of Louisiana and their case transferred to another agency. Federal officials track these cases, not CCDBR, and these relocations are routine.
Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge offers these tips for helping after disaster
Baton Rouge—After any disaster, the phones at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge (CCDBR) start ringing. The staff at the agency brace for the calls from people wanting to help as news of the destruction unfolds.
“We aren’t surprised that people in Louisiana want to help” said David Aguillard, CCDBR Executive Director. “The people of South Louisiana are traditionally known for being some of the most generous in the country. Since the outpouring of support for the state after Hurricane Katrina, that tradition grew even stronger.”