Grounded by our belief in Jesus Christ and Catholic teaching, Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program has been welcoming people to our Diocese since 1974. Chances are ... you know someone we helped. In response to the flood of misinformation spreading through social media and the high volume of inquiries we've received in the past few days, we've put together a list of FAQs concerning Syrian refugees in Louisiana and the refugee process. Check back for future developments.
You can help. Please share our message. Read the message from the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Archbishop of New Orleans’ message about the Catholic Church’s role in resettlement. Get the real facts about the resettlement process from a reliable source. Open your heart and answer Jesus' biblical call to welcome the stranger.
How many refugees, and specifically Syrians, are in the Baton Rouge area?
A State Department web site reveals 15 total refugees, of all nationalities, have resettled in Louisiana in the month of October, since the Federal government announced it would resettle 10,000 Syrians throughout the nation.
None, 0, of these 15 are from Syria. Most are from Asia.
Currently there are no Syrians scheduled for resettlement in the Diocese of Baton Rouge through March of 2016.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge resettled one, 1, Syrian last year, and that person subsequently moved out of Louisiana and their case transferred to another agency. Federal officials track these cases, not CCDBR, and these relocations are routine.
By Richard Meek, The Catholic Commentator, published 10/30/2015
Heartbreaking pictures of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing war ravaged Syria continues to touch the public’s conscience daily. Perhaps no image is more horrific than that of a 3-year-old boy who drowned and his body washed up on shore near a Turkish resort.
As the refugee crisis continues to escalate, Corina Salazar looks on with a heightened sense of awareness. As director of Refugee and Immigration Services for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, she fully understands the faces she sees in media reports from across the globe may be the same people she will greet as they step off a plane in Baton Rouge to settle into a new life.
In fact, Salazar said she is surprised her agency has yet to be contacted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding potential acceptance of refugees.
To help sponsored refugee children seeking protection in the United States, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge (CCDBR) has established the Louisiana Esperanza Project and received initial pledges of $310,000 over the next four years.
“The children at our border are some of the most vulnerable children on our continent,” said Winifred Reilly, who with her husband Kevin Reilly, Jr. helped kickoff the project with a challenge grant. “Their parents have the same hopes and dreams as we all have for our own.”
The project follows a statement by the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops issued earlier this month in which the Bishops urged protection of these vulnerable children and respect for their families.