Senior Moments

This week both saw the return of the Cara Club after the summer break, so now both clubs are back in full swing!

At Cara Club, everybody enjoyed chatting and catching up with each other on the first day of the club in the new ‘school year’. We then celebrated the recent birthday of Mary Logue, who was genuinely taken by surprise when volunteer Kevin O’Sullivan presented her with a delicious cake and everybody broke into the customary ‘Happy Birthday’ as Mary blew out the candles. Everyone enjoyed the freshly baked goods, some of which was brought in my volunteers along with tea & coffee. Kevin the led the group in song and several people then had turns on the microphone singing and entertaining the group.

Café Eireann was packed to capacity this week and some were looking forward to the onset of a trip later that morning. Brown bread and baked goods were once again enjoyed, followed by a sing-song with Kevin O’Sullivan.

Commonwealth Museum

Several participants from Café Eireann and the Cara Club enjoyed a wonderful and very informative guided tour to the Commonwealth Museum at Columbia Point, where we viewed some very rare and important documents in American history. The beautiful weather added to the day by offering wonderful scenic views of Boston Harbor. Thank you to volunteer bus driver, Kevin O’Sullivan who drove the IPC bus. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the tour, and some people even expressed an interest in returning themselves to do some genealogy research. Our thanks to Kevin O' Sullivan for driving the participants to the Museum.

Our Music for Memory returns on Tuesday, September 16 from 5:30PM to 7PM at the IPC.

The monthly Mass and luncheon will take place on Thursday, September 18 at the ICCNE. Please reserve your place by calling the RSVP line as soon as possible at 855-479-2472 to ensure adequate space and for catering purposes.

Immigration and U.S. Citizenship News

By Kieran C. O’ Sullivan; Immigration Counselor

H-1B cap affecting Irish

From our work with Irish immigrants seeking authorization to work in the U.S., it is becoming quite apparent that the limited number of H-1B visas is having a severe impact on their ability to achieve visa status in the U.S. A number of those who were present at our September legal clinic were here legally and had college degrees. Some had already been on J training work programs in the U.S.

There is a cap of 65,000 H-1B visas each year. The H-1B visas coming on stream on Oct. 1, 2014 have all been filed for and are gone except for cap exempt organizations The H-1B visas come into effect on Oct. 1 each year, but people are allowed file for them up to six months ahead of that date. For example this year, thousands of H-1B petitions were filed during the first week of April and the cap was reached during the first week of the month. There is a chance Congress might pass immigration reform which might include an increase in H-1B visas.

The H-1B visa is a temporary employment visa issued for an initial period of one to three years (with the option to renew it for a total of six years). It is a popular way for U.S. employers to hire qualified foreign workers in certain specialty occupations. After 6 years of H-1B status, there is a one-year foreign residency requirement after which you may reapply to enter the U.S. on H-1B or other status. Because of the current shortage of skilled workers in certain areas, this visa has become extremely popular with American employers, and the allotment of H-1B’s goes quickly each year. Hopefully as the economy improves, Congress will act to increase the cap to fill important positions in the American workforce.

Visa fees

USCIS rules and fees are constantly changing so we remind readers to consult the USCIS website for up to date information on forms and fees. See for information.

U.S. citizenship

We also had a few U.S. citizenship applications reviewed at the legal clinic by our team of pro bono attorneys. Regardless of how straight forward a person’s application may seem, we almost always find an error or omission on the forms. It’s important that these items be corrected before the forms are filed to USCIS.

October legal clinic

On the first Tuesday of every month, we hold a free legal clinic at the Banshee in Dorchester beginning at 6:30 PM. At the clinics, people have a chance to have a free confidential consultation with an experienced immigration attorney. We are lucky to have two leading Boston immigration attorneys, Chris Lavery and Dan Harrington, who donate their time to the clinics. Hundreds of people have achieved legal status and U.S. citizenship with their help through these efforts. Our next clinic will be on Tuesday Oct. 7th, 2014. There is no need to pre-register for the clinics. In the meantime, readers are invited to call or email U.S. for more information on any of these topics.

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.

Twenty Forth Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Sr. Marguerite Kelly; Pastoral Associate

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - Sept 14

Why do we Christians insist on celebrating the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross?

Non-believers looking at the cross see nothing but a symbol of total defeat for Jesus. They see a life ignominiously cut short by torture and death and wonder why we Christians focus on this aspect. Why not focus, for example, on the perennial value of Jesus’ teaching and example, rather than on this embarrassing end to his life?

But we Christians insist on exalting the cross of Christ. We even choose the cross as the central symbol of our faith, more significant than any other symbol! Why?

Paul’s reflection in Phillipians expresses the significance of the cross better than any text in Christian scripture. Jesus’ cross becomes the occasion for his transformation: “He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him.” For Paul, Jesus embracing his cross is the occasion for his restoration to his divine dignity and glory with the Father – not defeat but triumph!

Creighton U Daily Reflection Richard Hauser, S.J.