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Br. Steve Herro's Blog


Br. Steve HerroBr. Steve Herro, O. Praem., professed solemn vows to the Community of St. Norbert Abbey in 1991. He has served in Catholic social action ministry for St. Norbert Abbey, the Diocese of Green Bay, Catholic Charities USA, and St. Norbert College.

DISCLAIMER: This blog represents Br. Herro's own opinions and experiences. It does not represent an official position or opinion of St. Norbert Abbey or of any individual Norbertine.

February 1, 2016
Entry #48: "When justice work parallels Super Bowl Champion qualities"

by Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

“We have got to get the defense off the field,” is a football expression used to indicate that a team does better when its offense controls the ball and the time clock more than the opponent’s offense does. I was reminded of this expression and a past conversation with my friend Tony, who has coordinated an immigration justice program for the Catholic Church for about eight years.

About five or six years ago, I asked Tony how he and his co-workers maintained hope and enthusiasm for their ministry when victories were few and far between and when the national legislature appeared to be going nowhere in passing comprehensive immigration reform. How could I forget his co-worker Kevin’s insights about the necessity of playing defense on the comprehensive immigration reform front? But is not offense a lot more fun?

In the last month or so, the faith based community has had to play a lot of defense on immigration policy. Since the Paris bombing last November, a number of Congressional bills have been introduced to limit entry of Arabic-speaking nationals into the United States, including those fleeing ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq. And in December the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would begin to round up and deport people from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala whose claims for asylum in the U.S. had not been approved.

Well, just as some argue that good pitching defeats good hitting or that good defense defeats good offense, immigration advocates beat back HR 4038 in mid-January. Iraqi and Syrian asylum-seekers were temporarily spared from being locked out of the United States. Now, if immigration reformers can prevent any more deportations of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans beyond the first wave of 122 roundups, our efforts just might go down in history as one of the strongest defenses since the Denver Broncos’ famed “Orange Crush” of the early 1980s.

Like the vigilant bridesmaids of Matthew 25:1-13, we must remain alert in our practice of justice, be it defense or offense. And when our efforts do indeed protect the lives of widows, orphans, and strangers, we may hold our heads high as good and faithful servants.



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