As we approach July 4th this year, my thoughts will be of one of our newly naturalized US citizens. I began doing immigration work in December 1996. In my 17 year career, I do not recall meeting anyone quite like a recent particular candidate for US citizenship who I met through my work with Fr. John McCarthy and Sr. Marguerite Kelly in the IPC. The survivor of an attack that can only be described as horrific in nature, she not only survived the attack but displayed unbelievable courage in the face of the greatest adversity.

After a long period of rehabilitation, her dream was to become an American. When I was approached by an employee at a renowned rehabilitation hospital, I was more than happy to provide assistance. We helped on the N400 US citizenship application, and one of our probono attorneys Chris Lavery made himself available at all times. While a medical waiver on the history and civics test was available to our aspiring American, our candidate for US citizenship was determined to learn the history of her new homeland, and she passed the history and civics test with flying colors.

Along the way, we met other special people who we cannot name here but who, upon learning about what happened to our caller, have done everything possible to help. For confidentiality reasons, we cannot name the individual, but as we approach July 4th, we remind readers to remember in prayer all of those who are victims of violence including people who were killed or injured during the attacks in Boston on April 15th . Thanks to you, our readers, who support us as we do this work each year by providing donations for the running of the Irish Pastoral Centre. Thanks also to all the terrific staff at local area hospitals who save lives each day and respond in remarkable, kind and compassionate ways to accidents and acts of violence in our city.

Testimony on work of the Irish Pastoral Centre, Dorchester, Massachusetts.
June 10, 2013

My name is Joan Horgan, and I am the Spiritual Care Director for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network’s four Boston-area inpatient facilities. On several occasions over the past few years, I have called on Sr. Marguerite and Fr. John to visit patients from Ireland who was hospitalized at Spaulding Boston or Spaulding Cambridge (formerly Youville Hospital). Each time, they responded very promptly and compassionately, and provided spiritual, emotional and social support for both patients and family members.

Most recently, the IPC was enormously helpful in assisting one of Spaulding’s former patients, (alias: “Jay”), get her citizenship. Kieran had one of the lawyers from the Irish Pastoral Centre’s Immigration Clinic review her application for completeness before it was submitted in February. The lawyer recommended two changes, which most likely helped to avoid the application being flagged and delayed. Kieran was most helpful in responding to questions during the waiting process. “Jay” was the victim of a brutal assault. Kieran accompanied us to the interview, waited with us through the process, and stayed with us for the swearing-in ceremony. Knowing that someone whom she had not previously met, was willing to advocate so strongly on her behalf, has helped her to believe more in herself. She is deeply grateful, and so am I. Yours, Joan Horgan

Help is available:
If Irish Emigrant/Irishcentral readers know anyone who might be incarcerated or in hospital and who might benefit from a visit by Sr. Marguerite or Fr. John, or our volunteers, please let us know. People who have questions on citizenship and immigration paperwork are invited to call or email us or attend our monthly immigration clinics.

July immigration clinic
Our next free immigration clinic will be on Tuesday July 2, 2013, at The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester. Attorneys Chris Lavery and Dan Harrington will be present to answer queries on all aspects of immigration and US citizenship. All information remains confidential between our service users and probono attorneys.
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. - See more at: