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Chicago, IL (May 19, 2008) — Hundreds of priests, religious, parishioners from Catholic parishes and Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders will walk and pray together during events that focus on the ties that unite all people, on Thursday, May 29. Stressing the need for immigration reform that respects family bonds, religious leaders invite the public to attend the events that begin at 6:30 p.m. on Chicago’s west side.

Under the banner, “We Are God’s Family,” participants, including representatives of the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform (CCIR) of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and its Priests for Justice for Immigrants and Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, will walk from UIC’s John Paul II Newman Center, 700 S. Morgan St., to Holy Family Parish, 1080 W. Roosevelt Rd., where a prayer service will begin at 7 p.m. A statement from Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, will be read during the service. The Cardinal’s statement will highlight family unity and the ongoing journey of immigrants.

Most Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Chicago, will lead the prayer service that celebrates the call of all people of faith to be one family of God and to unite in support of families separated by immigration policies. “Any person with an ounce of compassion cannot help but weep at the atrocity of fathers and mothers being wrenched from their children,” Garcia-Siller said. He will be joined by Most Rev. John R. Manz, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, who added, “To claim that as a nation we are ‘under God’ mandates that we treat one another, citizen and non-citizen, with the same generosity of spirit, compassion and forgiveness that God offers each of us as citizens of the world.”

More than 1,000 family photos collected by CCIR will be presented during the service and distributed to the Chicago offices of the presidential candidates.

Bishops Manz and Garcia-Siller have long been a voice for immigrants, most particularly since the U.S. bishops established its Justice for Immigrants campaign in May 2005. The purpose then and now is to educate Catholics about the need for comprehensive immigration reform and to influence legislation for a permanent and fair solution to immigration issues in this country.

Event flyers are available at For more information on this and other immigration efforts of the Archdiocese of Chicago, contact Elena Segura, Director, Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform at 312--5333, or

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