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The Flyer

Catholic Relief Services hosts vigil for services

Julia Mach

Co-Campus Culture Editor

Photo by David Olsen The students reflect on the different issues occurring with immigrants and refugees at the prayer vigil.

A prayer vigil in support of immigrants and refugees was held Feb. 8 in the D’Arcy Great Room. Lewis came together with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Student Ambassadors to express solidarity and support for people around the world. The vigil aimed to respond to current events and show immigrants and refugees that they are not alone, as well as show that when we stand together, we stand strong.

 

“The troubles and danger that these people face today is often ignored or misunderstood,” said Abby Persicketti,  a junior public relations/advertising major. “I believe the vigil was a great way to put into light the fact that immigrants and refugees are human beings just like us and not numbers.”

 

The event raised awareness of the current issues that pertain to immigrants and refugees. Attendees took action toward change by sending letters to senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.

 

The vigil also helped students see the human side of the issues faced by refugees. “The vigil we held as members of CRS made me really think about the terms ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum-seeker.’ When reflecting on when I have heard those terms, I realized that I never put a human face on the refugee crisis and other human persecution issues around the world,” said junior radio/TV broadcasting major Isabelle Munoz. “Refugees and asylum-seekers are human beings, just like you and me. I think this vigil helped me to realize that.”

 

Merissa Loucks, a senior early childhood education major who also led the event, explained that this event was important to her personally.

 

“I have a really strong belief in Catholic social teaching and how important it is to people,” Loucks said. “I firmly believe that love is the most important principle, and if you cannot love the people who need it the most and the people who are the most at risk then you do not understand loving.”

 

Students will be able to participate in future events sponsored by the CRS Student Ambassadors, who seek to spread word about themselves and their organization on campus. These events will include fair trade sales, which promote purchasing fair trade goods allowing the buyer to know where the product has come from, and it supports the local farmers instead of big business corporations. In addition, the director from the CRS in India will visit to speak to students Feb. 27 at 1 p.m., in room AS 158A.

 

Loucks believes students shouldn’t feel discouraged by how overwhelming the world’s problems are, and that CRS events are one small step toward making big changes.

 

“They might feel small or they might feel like they do not have any opportunities to affect change, but that is not true at all. If they really want to make a change, all they have to do is look for it,” Loucks said.

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