Immigration Billboard Campaign Expands Reach
7/20/12: The “Welcoming Communities” billboard campaign, recently launched on the highways of Missouri by 16 congregations of Catholic sisters in the St. Louis area, has expanded its reach thanks to a St. Louis benefactor.
Billboards with the message “I was an immigrant and you welcomed me,” based on Jesus’ words from the Gospel of St. Matthew, are being posted in Hannibal, Joplin, Camdenton, Kirksville, Sedalia, and Branson throughout the summer. Read more about the campaign.
After reading about the billboards in the St. Louis Review, the Drury family and DDI Media offered support by putting up two billboards I-70, one in downtown St. Louis and one in Wright City.
The campaign has generated the thanks and support of many individuals and organizations, including local advocates such as the Missouri Catholic Conference. “The ‘strangers’ among us deserve our prayers, support, and understanding.”
“It is important to me that our Gospel values of hospitality and human dignity be a part of our ongoing discourse and work on immigration,” says Javier Orozco, OFS, PHD, director of Hispanic ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “I particularly affirm the public witness of our Christian Catholic faith tradition, may God continue to guide our efforts.”
Sister Barbara Jennings, CSJ, chair of the Intercommunity Justice Ministry, the sisters’ coalition sponsoring the campaign, says the sisters are pleased that they are able to spread the Gospel message of welcoming to so many across the state. “Our goal was to raise awareness of a very important issue in Missouri, and we hope people who saw the billboards will at least remember the words of Jesus and the relevance of those words today.”
For more information, resources and prayer, visit www.stlcatholicsisters.org/resources/.