Catholic Charities Assisting with Afghan Refugees
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
OKLAHOMA CITY– Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the U.S. government agencies is providing assistance to help Afghan evacuees finish their processing in Fort Lee, Virginia, before traveling to their final destination.According to a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK.com and other news organizations last month, as the Afghan situation continues to evolve this mission is ever-changing.
CCAOKC (Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City) has been involved with resettling refugees in Oklahoma for close to 50 years. More recently, CCAOKC has done this formally with the USCCB as a reception and placement agency in the metro area.
Traditionally, CCAOKC’s work begins when refugees arrive at Will Rogers World Airport after being thoroughly vetted through U.S. government agencies and approved for resettlement in the Oklahoma City area. CCAOKC’s service to refugees includes such things as connecting them to housing, medical screening, registering children for school, employment and community inculturation. In recent years, arrivals have been primarily from Burma and Vietnam.
“The people most suffering are not the people involved in politics or religion; the people who are suffering are innocent women and children,” said Maleeha Siddique, a case manager at CCAOKC, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Afghanistan 20 years ago.
CCAOKC Executive Director Patrick Raglow said, “Due to our long history of successfully welcoming refugees into Oklahoma City, we were asked to assist USCCB and U.S. government agencies to process recent arrivals from Afghanistan in Fort Lee.”
Raglow said three CCAOKC employees have been approved to assist at Fort Lee. Whether or not any in this group of refugees relocates to Oklahoma, CCAOKC is ready and willing to assist.
Raglow said, “Throughout sacred scripture, we are asked to serve the orphan, the immigrant and the widow and Catholic Charities strives to do that,” said Patrick Raglow, Executive Director of CCAOKC. “In this case, assisting those who put their lives in peril protecting the lives of Americans overseas is not only just, it is literally the least we can do and if we are called to assist, I would be humbled and honored to serve.”
About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City: According to the organization’s website, “Catholic Charities has been providing services to build a stronger community since 1912. Helping in 46 counties of Central and Western Oklahoma, services include: Counseling Services, Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance, Family H.O.P.E. Case Management, Immigration Legal Services, Refugee Resettlement Services and Homeless Services. Guided by Catholic teaching, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City serves those in need, regardless of their faith, through transformative, empowering and dignity-affirming social service programs that seek to eliminate material, emotional and spiritual poverty across Central and Western Oklahoma. To learn more, call 405-523-3000, visit ccaokc.org [ccaokc.org], or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”