(Catholic News Service) Washington D.C., Aug 31, 2016 / 06:32 am – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given $1.25 million in aid to Catholic refugee relief efforts.
“Together, as people of faith, we know that refugees desperately need our help – and this generosity allows us to serve many more,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration.
The LDS Church, whose members are colloquially known as Mormons, gave cash and donated goods to aid newly arrived refugees. The refugees are helped through Catholic dioceses’ resettlement offices under the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services. The donation will help welcome refugees and help them build new lives, the U.S. bishops’ conference reported.
Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the LDS Church, spoke about the aid.
“We are grateful for the ongoing relationships we have with people of faith for the opportunities it provides to assist in one of the fundamental principles of the gospel – caring for those that may feel like strangers among us,” he said Aug. 30. “This includes those who have been driven from their homes and find themselves in new and unfamiliar circumstances.”
Bishop Waddell said the donation is part of the LDS Church’s ongoing relationship with the U.S. bishops’ conference and part of “our collective resolve to follow Jesus Christ and assist in bettering the lives of refugees.”
Bishop Elizondo said he is “extremely grateful” to Bishop Waddell and the LDS Church for their support.
Violence in Central America has pushed tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors to flee to the U.S. in recent years. In 2015 the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reported record numbers of people worldwide have been uprooted from their homes by war and persecution.
Migration and Refugee Services represents the U.S. bishops in migration policy, communication, advocacy, education and other services to migrant populations. Those assisted include immigrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and unaccompanied minors.