A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another. - John 13: 34-35
The USCCB shares that each year thousands of immigrants and refugees come to the United States seeking to make a new life for themselves. Some are victims of war, oppression, and political turmoil. Others are coming to join loved ones. All come seeking the opportunity to live in peace, safety, and freedom. Upon arrival in the United States, these new Americans face the challenge of starting lives anew, often with little more than just a few material possessions. They must immediately attend to basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and jobs, while learning a new language and navigating the many cultural variations in our society. Consequently, there is a great need for people who are willing to help facilitate the integration of newly arriving immigrant and refugee populations into our society.
The diocese offers a number of classes and services to the state’s growing immigrant population.
Immigration Services: family petitions, religious visa petitions, adjustment of status, naturalization, work permit renewals, and consultations.
Accredited Representation: staff is accredited to represent individuals and families before the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Office of Community Services and Advocacy is a member agency of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Citizenship Classes: held on Tuesday and Thursday nights during the school year to prepare legal permanent residents for the citizenship exam. Classes are offered in conjunction with Providence College.
English as a Second Language Classes: currently there are two English as a Second Language (ESL) offered classes at Blessed Sacrament Church 239 Regent Avenue, Providence, R.I. The class times and schedules vary depending on the class, some are held during the day and others in the evenings. For more information or to sign up for Citizenship or ESL classes please use contact information below.
Tutors for Refugee Students
The Immigration and Refugee Services assist many refugee clients who have children. Their children are enrolled in school but need extra help reading, writing and speaking English in order to keep up with their school work. Therefore, we are trying to recruit volunteers to become refugee student tutors and help these children’s education and their adjustment to the American school system. Refugee student tutors set up a schedule with the parents of the student to tutor the child or children twice a week after school for an hour or two each session at the student’s home.
Refugee Resettlement Services: In affiliation with Migration & Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, staff provides refugee resettlement services. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has been collaborating with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB/MRS) for nearly 30 years in their humanitarian mission of the resettlement of refugees in the United States. This program is appropriate for anyone in need of immigration services and refugee resettlement casework and is available in multiple languages including: English, Spanish, French, Kpelle, Madingo, Trigrinya, Amharic, and Creole (French and Portuguese).
The application process varies depending on the immigration status of the individual and application guidelines vary depending on the immigration status. There are fees required by the Department of Immigration. In addition, the diocesan office has a fee schedule for the services provided. The financial situation of the client is considered; fees are based on the individual’s income, and payment plans are available.