The three downstate dioceses of New York State gathered together to pray in solidarity with the immigrant community in the hope that our nation adopts a much needed Comprehensive Immigration Reform policy. This event marked the first time that the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of New York collaborated to highlight an issue that deeply concerns our Church.  Each diocese was represented by 11 pilgrims signifying the 11 million undocumented immigrants in our nation today living tenuously within a broken immigration system.

38The 11 Rockville Centre pilgrims began the journey at St. Agnes Cathedral, following a Commissioning Prayer offered by Bishop Robert Brennan. They met the 11 Brooklyn/Queens pilgrims at St. James Basilica Cathedral to journey together, crossing the East River by walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. The 22 pilgrims arrived in Manhattan and walked down Broadway, past Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, making their way to Our Lady of the Rosary Church where they met up with the group from the New York Archdiocese. There they had a prayer service where they recalled the immigrant history of our nation and the Church’s ongoing response to new arrivals to our country.

A recent immigrant from each diocese shared their story of coming to America. Afterwards the group walked across the street to Battery Park, where they prayed a Rosary vigil then they returned to the church to pray for comprehensive immigration reform and the reconciliation of the immigrant community within the life of the nation.