BISHOP ARMANDO X. OCHOA
ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF FRESNO
"Welcome the stranger among you, for you were once strangers in a foreign land."
The defense of the most vulnerable and weak among us has been at the heart of the Catholic Church's witness and teaching to the world for more than two-thousand years. Rooted in the wisdom of the Prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures and in the consistent teachings of Jesus,our message of hope and care as believers is woven into a seamless garment which covers each one of us under the protective mantle of God's grace and love from the moment of conception to natural death. It is this message of hope that urges us to speak and to act when contrary messages appear on the horizon of our human discourse. And so, our faith impels us to speak out in defense of the vulnerable and rejected members of the human family and to do what we can to alleviate their sufferings and to provide safe haven to them no matter what their race, religion, or national origin. This is not simply a "nice" gesture of kindness. Rather, this is who we are! This is who we are called to be!