Catholic Accompaniment and Reflective Experience (CARE) Program

Archbishop Thompson and Woman

What is the CARE Program?

The Catholic Accompaniment and Reflection Experience (CARE) is a new pilot initiative that was launched by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Office of Catholic Charities, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Migration and Refugee Services in the fall of 2018.

The CARE Program is committed to connecting Catholic volunteers and parishes with fellow community members who are undocumented immigrants in need of accompaniment which could include emotional, social services, and spiritual support when integrating into their communities or attempting to comply with immigration proceedings.  Through a partnership with Bethany Christian Services, the CARE Program also provides support for unaccompanied children who are temporarily placed in foster homes while they wait for reunification with their families.

CARE is the pastoral response to the uncertainty and fear that many of our immigrant neighbors are experiencing.

General Goals of Accompaniment

1) To connect migrants and their families to existing community resources that will help these people to comply with their legal requirements. It is important that no one stands alone during this difficult and often trying process.

2) To build awareness regarding existing migration policies and their impacts on communities, and promote solidarity and increase public support for new policies that support migrant families and improve local communities.

3) To create avenues for education and learning about the diversity of modern Catholic parish life and the centrality of welcoming the newcomer to Catholic Social Teaching. It will also help to form migrant leadership opportunities at the parish level. 

4) To bridge cultural differences and foster a community of welcome and understanding.

Catholic Social Teaching Principles of Migration

I. People have a right to find opportunities in their homeland.
II. People have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.
III. Sovereign nations have a right to control their borders.
IV. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection.
V. The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.

For more information, please contact:

Simona Reising
CARE Coordinator
Catholic Charities - Social Concerns

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