Asylum: A Gift To Our Nation
By Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V.
I thought about asylum last month as I watched two Viator House participants from Guatemala bring smiles to elderly residents as they volunteered at a local nursing home.
They are seeking asylum in our nation – a chance to build a life safe from the violence they fled. But we also win if they “win.” We win because our nation becomes home to young men, both faith-filled and hardworking who often look for opportunities to help others.
At Viator House we are grateful for the lawyers who work so hard representing our participants, mostly because we care so deeply for the men living with us. But our entire nation should be grateful for lawyers representing young people seeking asylum. By
their work, they are strengthening our entire nation, making us more compassionate as they protect the rights of young women and men who bring with them incredible gifts.
Since Viator House has opened our participants have
- Maintained a garden last summer that raised 36 pounds of beans and peppers for Catholic Charities
- Packed thousands of meals for starving children in developing
- Helped build a home for a homeless
- Brought smiles to elderly nursing home residents by playing games with them and creating art for them.
- Been leaders on a weeklong middle school service camp.
- Volunteered at bowling parties for developmentally-disabled
- Served on a young adult interfaith team leading a program that taught middle school students how to respect and protect the rights of all faith
In the meantime, they also have worked hard to develop themselves educationally, spiritually and emotionally. Five have finished high school and are now prepared for college. Three are taking college classes.
So, in closing, thank you to our lawyer friends. Your hard work is making our nation a better place to live
– just ask the elderly people I saw smiling last month during a game with two Guatemalan asylum-seekers.
Fr. Corey Brost, CSV