By Megan E. Carroll, Esq.; Executive Director
617-265-5300 Ext. 15
During the blessed season of Advent as I complete my eighth month in service of the Irish Pastoral Centre, I am humbly reminded of how blessed and fortunate I am to be working with such dedicated staff and volunteers to better the lives of our seniors, mothers and toddlers, undocumented, incarcerated, at-risk, and vulnerable Irish. We held some very successful fundraisers in the fall, but these events occurred so that we may have the means to now serve others in the way that we do best- with humility, with love toward our fellow man, with compassion, and with the hope and knowledge that we are making the world a better place for the strangers among us. It is my hope that our parish without boundaries will have an even greater impact in 2015, and that we can count on continued support from you, our friends, and people whom we have touched in some way.
Blessings and peace to you at Christmas and throughout the New Year.
The God of Surprises
By Sr. Marguerite Kelly; Pastoral Associate
617-265-5300 Ext. 10
“While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son.” (Luke 2:6)
The Christmas story is filled with surprises. God comes to earth not as a full-grown, powerful king, but as a helpless, wiggly, red-faced newborn! He is born not in a palace, but in a stable with cattle and a sheep or two. His parents are not famous, but rather a poor, humble couple. They come not from Rome or Jerusalem, but from an obscure village in a small country dominated by a foreign power. The first guests to arrive are not people of renown but shepherds, a shabby and homeless lot.
Let us ask ourselves: how open are we to the God of surprises? Do we stubbornly cling to our puny expectations and petty prejudices or do we allow ourselves to be swept off out feel by a God who gets a kick out of doing unexpected and astonishing things?
God of surprises, help me to be more open to the amazing things you are doing in my life and in my world.
Sr. Melannie Svoboda, SND
By Kieran C. O’ Sullivan; Immigration Counselor
Call: 617-265-5300 Ext. 16
Deferred Action for undocumented parents
If readers know of any undocumented persons with U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident children present in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, please have them get in touch with us for more information on eligibility for deferred action. Information is also available on our site: www.ipcboston.org. We expect further details on the application process for deferred action in the weeks ahead. Meantime people with queries can email or call us.
Travel Alert-Check your travel documents
On Saturday, I had an emergency call from a person who had misplaced his U.S. passport. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he was due to fly back to Ireland for Christmas that night. Unfortunately without a valid passport he was unable to travel, and at considerable expense had to change his flight to later in the week. This allowed him time to appear in person for a passport in Boston. We remind readers traveling back to Ireland over the holidays to double check the location and validity of your travel documents.
Should you have a travel emergency for which a U.S. passport is required, you can call the Boston Passport Agency located in the Tip O’ Neill Building in Boston. Individuals are seen by appointment only and you need to call the automated appointment line to make appointments. When using this expedited service, you must prove that you have to leave the U.S. within 14 days of the request. Sufficient proof includes printed airline tickets or a confirmed airline-generated itinerary.
For non-emergency passport needs, you can visit your 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. You will need to complete an application. You will need proof of U.S. citizenship which you now have: your certificate of citizenship. To find the closest passport service center to you and to print downloadable forms, visit the State Department’s website at www.travel.state.gov.
You will need two photographs and the instructions on these are all on the website. You will need to provide proof of identity at the passport office. You may submit items such as the following containing your signature, and physical description or photograph that is a good likeness of you: previous U.S. passport; Certificate of Naturalization or of Citizenship; driver's license (not temporary or learner’s license) or government -Federal, State, or municipal-identification card or pass. Temporary or altered documents are not acceptable. All up to date information on fees and requirements can be read in more detail in the passports section of the State Department website.
January Legal Clinic
We will be having a clinic on January 6th 2015 at the Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, and beginning at 6:30 PM. Attorneys will be able to answer questions on deferred action at the clinic. One to one consultations with attorneys will also be available on general visa matters, marriage related visa questions and U.S. citizenship. If inclement weather is forecast for that day, call the IPC offices to confirm the clinic is on.
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.
Record numbers show up for IPC’s Monthly Mass & Luncheon at the ICCNE
By Audrey Larkin; Interim Senior Program Coordinator
Call: 617-265-5300 Ext. 13
As 2014 draws to a close – the Senior Program at the IPC has proven to be a wonderful success with an excess of over 180 people in attendance at the IPC Monthly Mass & Luncheon at the ICCNE. We cannot express enough thanks for the continued support of the ICCNE for the use of their space where we host this wonderful event. Additionally, we would like to extend our warmest thanks to all of the volunteers who every month gives their time & talents to help us make this the event so successful. It has grown because of those very dedicated people who drive the IPC bus, who help at the Mass, and who assist with the catering. We extend our sincerest apologies to those whom we had to disappoint by informing them that they could not attend this week. As you know, in order for us to respect the ICCNE code of regulations which states that only 180 people may be accommodated, we had dozens of people on the waiting list who could not attend. We truly appreciate your understanding.
We are very excited to end 2014 on a high note and cannot wait for 2015 to see what’s in store for the Senior Program. We wish you all tidings of great joy and love toward our friends and neighbors this Christmas season!
Nollaig Shona Dhuit