Iowa bishops’ statement on humanitarian situation at the border – June 2014

A November 2013 report from the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Migration alerted us to the ongoing increase in migration of unaccompanied children across the border. More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since the beginning of the year.

The report found a “perfect storm” of reasons leading to this phenomenon, including an absence of economic opportunities, a lack of access to education, and a desire to reunify with family in the United States. One cause has played a decisive role in recent years: extreme violence in the countries of origin and a corresponding breakdown of the rule of law. This violence has resulted in part because of the drug trade driven by users in the United States.

We appreciate government officials for responding as best they can to this crisis and ask them to make sure that legal services are available to unaccompanied children. Children without family in the U.S. are at risk of being sent back to an unsafe situation. The best interests of these children should be a priority.

In a recent statement for World Refugee Day, Pope Francis said “Jesus was a refugee” and called upon Catholics and others to “alleviate their suffering in a concrete way.” We are responding the best we can through our Catholic Charities organizations and ask the government to do the same.



Most Rev. Michael Jackels, Archbishop of Dubuque

Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City

Most Rev. Martin Amos, Bishop of Davenport

Most Rev. Richard Pates, Bishop of Des Moines



June 26, 2014

Fortnight for Freedom

The Diocese of Des Moines is participating in the third annual Fortnight for Freedom, a national effort to advance a movement for life, marriage and religious liberty through prayer, penance and sacrifice. In Des Moines, the fortnight will be marked with a holy hour, keynote speaker and reception beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 22 at St. Ambrose Cathedral. All are invited.

The Fortnight for Freedom runs June 21-July 4 with the goal of emphasizing the fundamental right of religious freedom. 

Keynote speaker Omar Gutierrez, of the Archdiocese of Omaha, will talk in English and Spanish on the Church’s social teaching and human dignity.

“He was a natural fit for this year’s theme, which is ‘Freedom to Serve,’” said Adam Storey, diocesan director of Marriage and Family Life and a co-organizer of the event.

For more information, go to or

Immigration reform call-in days

Here’s some new information regarding upcoming Justice for Immigrants national call-in days.

Next Wednesday, June 11th is a “Leadership Call-in Day” that will send calls to the House offices of Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Majority Whip McCarthy.

On Friday, June 13th there will be another national call-in day directed to Members’ district offices.

The toll-free number to use is 1-855-589-5698 and our ask is for Congress and House leadership is simple:

“Move immigration reform legislation to the House floor.”

For more information go to