On Thanksgiving, welcome Syrian refugees to America

by Notre Dame News

Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C. Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C.

On Thanksgiving, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., issued the following statement welcoming Syrian refugees to America.

On Friday night, Nov. 13, many from the Notre Dame community gathered at our Grotto and illuminated the word “PARIS” in votive candles as a way of marking our prayers for, and solidarity with, the people of France in the aftermath of the horrendous terror attacks there. The next day, thousands stood in silence at Notre Dame Stadium to mourn the dead.

As we pause now at Thanksgiving to express our gratitude to God for the blessings bestowed so generously upon the United States of America, let us welcome into our midst Syrian refugees forced by unrelenting violence to flee their homes. These include Christians persecuted solely on account of their faith. We should not use events in France “to scapegoat all refugees,” to cite Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration. “They are extremely vulnerable families, women and children who are fleeing for their lives. We cannot and should not blame them for the actions of a terrorist organization.”

We must not be cowed by terrorists into turning our backs on our Syrian brothers and sisters, but instead — and in the name of Our Lady of Refuge — share with them our bounty and protection.