Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bishop Latino Declares a Fast for Immigration Reform

Bishop Latino in the Saltillo Mission (Mexico)
The Bishop of Jackson, Bishop Joseph Latino, has declared a Day of Fasting for the entire Diocese on Friday, February 25th for the cause of Immigration Reform. He urges Catholics to pray that the Senate Bill SB 2179 not pass. The bill moves that Mississippi adopt the same policies that Arizona put in place concerning state oversight in identifying those who were in the country without proper documentation. The Mississippi Catholic has the story here.

Fast days are important and should be observed by the faithful. Fasting requires those 14 years old and up to the age of 65 to have one simple meal during the day and may take some food (not a meal) in the morning and evening. The fasting asks that one refrain from any meat or poultry.
Although participating in the fast is voluntary, it is a rarity that a Bishop would declare a fast.

The Bishop has not declared a fast for the diocese in the history of his episcopacy. The issue of immigration has been incredibly important to him and he has encouraged protests, letter campaigns, activism and other means in the cause of civil rights and social justice. So in declaring a fast, he highlights the importance of this issue for everyone in the Church and the urgency of this social concern.

The Bishop says:
"I ask all Catholics in the diocese to observe this day through communal prayer, personal reflection, fasting and acts of charity." The entire statement can be read here.