Strangers No Longer
May 2024
JOIN US As we embark on a Summer/Fall pilgrimage to win the Drive Safe bills and get ready for the coming election season where immigration will be in the forefront!

The 4 pillars of our pilgrimage:
  • Monthly webinars from June through September regarding "hot button" immigration issues.
  • Meetings with Gov. Whitmer and our Bishops to advocate for the Drive Safe bills.
  • A March and Mass in Solidarity with immigrants at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on September 29th.
  • November 13 - Advocacy Day in Lansing to make a final appeal to the legislators regarding the Drive Safe bills.

Details below
Monthly Webinars: Understanding Immigration in 2024 - How it Informs our Faith - 4 sessions once a month June-September
  • Common Sense Reforms to U.S. Immigration Policy - Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.
  • What is Really Happening at the Border? - Tuesday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m.
  • How Do Immigrants Contribute to Our Society? - Tuesday, August 20 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Catholic Social Teaching and Our Responsibility as Citizens - Tuesday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Click here for more information on each program and to register.
Meetings with the Governor and our Bishops
  • A group of 9 nuns, representing over 1000 religious sisters and associate members in Michigan, have asked Governor Whitmer for a meeting to discuss DRIVE SAFE. (Click here for the letter).  
  • We are forming a delegation, a busload, of our women leaders to go to Lansing to the Governor’s office. We want to be sure that the Governor gets the nuns’ message loud and clear. Barb Staniszewski (Servants’ Entrance) and Nancy Silveri (Nativity) are organizing this.
  • A delegation of SNL Men, are organizing a sign-on letter for parish leaders – priests, deacons, parish life directors, etc. Same message – “Governor, we want to meet with you, and we ask for your commitment to promote DRIVE SAFE.” Mike Clyne (St. Charles Borromeo) and Tom Tomala (Christ the King) are taking the lead on this effort.
  • The immigrant leaders are asking their bishops for a meeting to ask them to be stronger and more vocal, about their support for DRIVE SAFE.

Ready to get involved? Email or call 313-549-0421.
A March and Mass in Solidarity with Immigrants
On September 29, Sunday, 2:30 – 5:00 PM, we'll be at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit for a Procession/March and Mass in Solidarity with Immigrants.

We expect delegations from all over Michigan representing all the different immigrant countries and cultures. In front of press, we’ll declare our intention to go in big numbers to the State Capital on November 13.
November 13 - Advocacy Day in Lansing

Why are we going? To talk one more time with as many of our legislators and senators as we can – to remind them of the importance of DRIVE SAFE. 

Why is this important? Because our immigrant members say this is NUMERO UNO for them. And because we as Catholics (or human beings) are not “suffering from the disease of INDIFFERENCE,” as Pope Francis warns. This campaign is on the agenda of the seven Michigan Catholic Bishops.
There are all kinds of ways to get involved and stand up for immigrants this summer and fall! Join us--we need you!
Email or call 313-549-0421.
Pax Christi of Michigan presents the Young Peace Activist award each year to highlight efforts by individuals or groups to support and advocate for immigrants in Michigan. SNL is proud to announce that this year, the award went to our Youth in Action for Immigration Circles!

At the 42nd state conference at University Detroit-Mercy on April 20th, eight students from SNL's youth Circles representing Mercy, Shrine, Notre Dame Prep, Detroit Cristo Rey, and Catholic Central high schools accepted the award on behalf of their peers.

Addressing the Conference attendees, the student leaders eloquently spoke of what an honor it is to receive the award and how much it means to them to participate in Strangers No Longer. Pax Christi members were eager to meet and congratulate these young leaders for their efforts.

SNL's youth leaders have done much to earn this Pax Christi award throughout the year! Youth leaders meet monthly to plan, collaborate, and share updates from their school Circles – including fundraisers and educational events, like presentations by immigrant leaders. Together, they participated in SNL’s Assembly for Human Dignity and the 2024 Banquet, and organized a 4th annual Youth Conference this March at St. Francis Cabrini Parish in Allen Park. Cristo Rey and Shrine high schools are preparing summer immersion trips to the US-Mexico Border through the Mercy Sisters’ Arise program.

Congratulations to our Youth in Action for Immigration for winning this Pax Christi Award! Thank you for the work you do to live in solidarity with immigrants!
Youth Presentations in Parishes

SNL’s Youth in Action for Immigration leaders are excited to give presentations in your parishes this summer! They are eloquent speakers with a lot of energy for this work, and they would be thrilled to be welcomed to your parish to talk about what it means to them to participate in Strangers No Longer, and to encourage others – youth and adults alike – to get involved too!

Please consider inviting the youth to give a presentation at your parish sometime this summer. Contact Strangers No Longer as soon as possible if you’re interested in this opportunity, as our youth are very busy! Email
In November 2023, over 230 leaders from 15 Catholic parishes, non-profits and civic leaders in the Diocese of Gaylord gathered at SNL’s first Assembly for Human Dignity in the diocese. There state legislators agreed to work with the local immigrant leaders on a Spanish-speaking Mental Health Promoters Pilot Project. Also discussed by local leaders were common good topics, like affordable housing, mental health for all vulnerable populations, and the health effects of climate change. 

Following a suggestion that came from this Assembly, leaders across the Gaylord Diocese are now planning a Day of Reflection and Education on Catholic Social Teaching on Saturday, September 21, from 10am to 2:30pm at the St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord, Michigan.

Fr. David Buersmeyer, will share Catholic Social Teaching principals and how Catholics are called to be involved in their local communities. Attendees will receive training to prepare them to listen to fellow parishioners and learn more about the issues of common good that are of concern in their local communities.

Delegations from parishes across northern Michigan (and beyond!), and any other interested individuals and organizations are welcome to this event!

Click here for more information and to register.
Questions? Contact Amy Ketner at or 810-252-2664
On Sunday, April 14th, over 400 members of SNL gathered at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren to celebrate another year of working together to help make Michigan a more welcoming community for immigrants. Chris Lynch, President of Cristo Rey High School, was again our Master of Ceremony.
We enjoyed music from Amoris Lingua, the youth choir from from St. Clemens parish in Romeo and we were entertained by the Island Guys Duo. Baskets created by SNL Circles were raffled off and were even better than last year!
Our keynote speaker was Dylan Corbett, Executive Director of Hope Border Institute in El Paso, TX. He talked about his work at the southern border and how organizations like SNL can help.

Our thanks to banquet chairperson, Vicky Kovari and raffle coordinators Cyndi Malow and Irma Landin-Obregon and all the members who helped make the banquet a memorable event!
The circle of support of St. Charles Borromeo and Nativity Parishes invited Daris Bartolon, a leader of the immigrant support circle Women Under God's Protection, to share her testimony of life with the parishioners on the Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost.

Daris shared how she had to leave her country of Guatemala fleeing domestic violence and hoping that her daughter could obtain medical care not available in Guatemala.  She described the danger she and her family endured as they journeyed to the U.S., including being kidnapped for a time. Daris was grateful for the opportunity to tell her story and thankful for all the help received through the prayers of those who were present at the Eucharist and the support received from Strangers No Longer.

Daris received a standing ovation from the parishioners and parishioners thanked her for her testimony.

It is through testimonies like this that immigrant women are healing their long-accumulated pain and suffering and are working to be agents of their own change.

Sr. Martha de la Torre J., smr

Women from SNL immigrant circles continue to share their life experiences in parishes, high schools, and other spaces where they are invited.

We encourage you to invite one of them to your parish so that others can to listen to their stories and realize the courage it took to decide to come to a country totally different from theirs and start their lives over again.

Please contact SNL at
Julie Watanabe, Circle Leader at St. Michael’s in Sterling Heights, reports that their circle joined with the parish's Christian Service Commission to provide Easter baskets and gifts to three groups: The SNL immigrant circle Mujeres Bajo la Proteccion de Dios; the temporary shelter in Detroit called Bakhita House; and families in St. Clement of Rome parish.
Each child who received a basket or gift was “adopted” by a Strangers No Longer or Christian Service member, who then went out and purchased unique gifts that reflected the child’s age and gender. Teenagers received Easter candy and an Amazon gift card. A total of 45 children and 13 teenagers received special Easter presents through this effort.
Are Catholic nonprofits really to blame for the migrant crisis at the border?
Does this humanitarian aid lead to the thousands of migrants and asylum seekers searching for entry at the southern border? Or, to put it another way: Will cutting humanitarian assistance help the crisis? America asked immigration experts to weigh in.
Click here for the article from America - The Jesuit Review.

Sister best known for ministry to migrants shares her artwork that tells their stories
Sr. Norma Pimentel, a religious sister best known for helping more than 100,000 migrants and asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border in southern Texas was in Chicago April 15 to share her artwork nationally for the first time and reiterate a message of love.
Click here for the article from Global Sisters Report.
From El Central Hispanic News: Cinco de Mayo Celebrations Attract Thousands to Southwest Detroit
The Mexican Patriotic Committee of Metro Detroit and its volunteers organized a weekend full of traditional festivities to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the theme “La Historia de Southwest Detroit”. (SNL Youth in Action for Immigration Circle from Cristo Rey High School at right.)
Click here for the complete article.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 17th at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom. If you would like the link, please email
The Circle of Support at Gesu has a parishioner and asylum seeker who has founded a school to teach Spanish. The school offers classes for children and adults. They offer a variety of services including classes for medical professionals to help them converse with their patients, Spanish for business, Spanish for travelers, as well as children’s courses.  

The classes are all taught by native Spanish speakers. Currently all the classes are taught online. 

Carmen Luna, owner
Luna Spanish Center
Please donate whatever you can to support the work of Strangers No Longer. Now, more than ever, your help is needed.
19972 Shrewsbury
Detroit, MI 48221