WASHINGTON (CNS) — A coalition of Jesuit schools and universities is encouraging those in their network and beyond to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year by sending cards to lawmakers, asking them and others to “love your neighbor” and send “migrants welcome” Valentine’s Day messages from Feb. 11-18.
“On Valentine’s Day, show your love to your neighbor. Every neighbor. Including your immigrant, refugee, undocumented, DACAmented neighbor,” says the Ohio-based Ignatian Solidarity Network on its website. It provides a template for Valentine’s Day cards whose message inside says: “Roses are red, violets are blue. My faith teaches me to love my neighbor, and so should you.”
The cover features a red heart with the words “Love Your Neighbor” and “Migrants Welcome.” They are meant to be sent to members of Congress and it is part of a larger, two-year “campaign for hospitality.” The network also is offering stickers with the same message. All materials are free and available at www.ignatiansolidarity.net/campaignforhospitality.
The campaign is an effort to promote a “culture of hospitality” toward those who migrate, said the network’s executive director, Christopher Kerr.
“Our Jesuit/Ignatian partners in Latin America actually coined the idea and then encouraged us to put it into action here in the U.S. (and a little bit in Canada),” Kerr said to Catholic News Service. “This specific mini-campaign is to build off of the popularity of Valentine’s Day in the context of Mark’s Gospel — encouraging people promote a culture of care, concern, compassion, and welcome toward immigrants and refugees.”
The campaign also encourages those who want to participate to buy Valentine’s Day treats from a fair-trade chocolate company; to send “Love Your Neighbor-Grams” on Valentine’s Day; and to encourage those in the Ignatian network to find ways to “share the stories of immigrant and refugee members of their communities in ways that promote a culture of hospitality.”