By Phil O’Sullivan; Senior Program Coordinator;
Call: 617-265-5300 Ext. 13
There was a large crowd in the Cara Club on Monday last where we have seen numbers dramatically increase, and with the snow slowly melting we hope to have full attendance shortly. Dick Mahoney hosted bingo on the day and proved to be an excellent host for the afternoon. After the bingo it was time to open up the lungs and sing song became the order of the day. The seniors at Cara Club once again proved they are a very talented bunch of singers as well as half decent bingo players.
This week Café Eireann hosted a guest speaker from Northeastern University as Professor Carmen Sceppa spoke to the seniors about a research project the university is currently undertaking. The group seemed very interested in the exercise focused research and more meetings with Carmen will follow. Eileen Smith was also busy conducting her gentle exercise class with the seniors who were certainly put through their paces. Eileen certainly has a great relationship with the group and it was clearly evident throughout the morning’s workout.
March Monthly Mass and Luncheon at ICCNE
The IPC’s Monthly Mass & Luncheon will be held on Thursday 19th at 12 noon at the ICCNE following lunch will be live music. Please RSVP if you plan to attend this Mass – it is always a very popular event so please call to reserve your spot. It is on a first come first serve basis as the capacity is 175 in the interest of safety and fire regulations. RSVP to 855-479-2472 to book your spot, leaving your name and telephone number. If you cannot attend and you have booked your spot – please call to let us know as we may have a waiting list.
By Kieran C. O’ Sullivan; Immigration Counselor
Call: 617-265-5300 Ext. 16
St. Patrick’s Day Greetings
We wish all our readers a happy St. Patrick’s Day. We urge those out attending events to use great caution on the road and stress the need for designated drivers. Apart from the obvious risk of death or serious injury as a result of driving under the influence, for those here undocumented an arrest could lead to detention and deportation. Even for those here legally, a conviction has negative repercussions.
U.S. citizenship and passports
Congratulations to Paul M. who has just passed his U.S. citizenship interview and will be sworn in before the end of the month. He will be applying for his U.S. passport after he is sworn in and issued his naturalization certificate. For non-expedited passport needs, one should visit a local post office to pick up an application. People can expect their passports in approximately 25 business days from receipt of a completed application. Depending upon your desired shipping method and fee schedule, this date can be expedited slightly. Read the instructions carefully, and keep copies of everything.
Visas via relatives
A caller recently inquired about getting legal status in the USA through her aunt who was living here and had naturalized last year. Getting legal status in this manner was possible decades ago but it is no longer an option. There are two classifications of relatives for family sponsorship: immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (who are classified as children and spouses of U.S. citizens) and parents of a U.S. citizen age 21 or older. There is no limit on the number of immediate relatives who may adjust status to permanent residence in the U.S. The second classification is family- based relatives, who are limited in number by the Department of State. There are four different categories in family-sponsored preferences. Relatives who can sponsor immigrants are listed below. The categories are as follows:
· First Preference: Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
· Second Preference: Spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent resident aliens.
· Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
· Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens if the citizen is at least 21 years old.
The use of the term “sons and daughters” in the family sponsored preference classes is designed to avoid the statute’s definition of “child,” since “children of U.S. citizens” are exempt from the numerical limitations as immediate relatives. Hence a son or daughter is a “child” of the petitioner who has passed the age limits for the definition of child. The term “unmarried” used in the first and second preference classes is defined as the marital state of the alien at the time of visa issuance, regardless of any previous marriage. The term “brothers and sisters” used in the fourth family-sponsored class is undefined, but may be derived from the term “children” from common “parents.”
Unfortunately for many, the family preference categories do now work because there are huge backlogs. If, as a U.S. citizen, I want to sponsor my brother to the U.S., it would be roughly twelve years before a visa would become available for him. The backlogs and preference figures can be viewed monthly in the Visa Bulletin at the U.S. State Department website: www.state.gov. These backlogs force many aspiring immigrants to look at established visa categories as an option to enter the U.S. and work, train or study here.
Our next clinic will be on April 7 at The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave. beginning at 6:30 PM. We will have handouts with information on deferred action and attorneys will see people one to one for private confidential consultations.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.
By Sr. Marguerite Kelly; Pastoral Associate
617-265-5300 Ext. 10
Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday
Today is Laetare Sunday, so named because the Introit or Entrance Antiphon begins with the word “Rejoice” (Laetare). Coming as it does shortly after the halfway point of Lent, it offers a respite in this season of penance. We might see the priest and deacon wearing a different color at Mass today (rose – not pink!). In some parishes, flowers adorn the altar. So what is the cause for rejoicing? The opening prayer offers an important clue. We pray to God as “[you] who through your Word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way.” The readings go on to bear witness to various, wondrous ways in which God, throughout salvation history, has reached out in mercy to save his people, continually summoning us to return to him. At the beginning of today’s Gospel reading, Jesus reminds Nicodemus of God’s act of mercy during the Israelites’ sojourn in the wilderness. Although they had already experienced many instances of God’s provision and protection, the Israelites complained and rebelled against him. This resulted, as they bypassed the land of Edom, in their being afflicted by seraph serpents. But God ordered Moses to make a serpent (which he did, out of bronze). This precursor of Jesus’ cross was a means of healing for those who had been bitten.
Creighton U Daily Reflection Tom Stegman, S.J.