With the U.S. government continuing to severely limit the number of refugees who enter the country under its auspices, Catholic Charities of the East Bay has ended its resettlement program.

While the agency was scheduled to receive 100 refugees in fiscal year 2019, which began Oct. 1, 2018, the agency received just eight.

The last arrived Feb. 7. The 90-day service contract with the government ended May 8.

This effectively ends the involvement of about 40 parishes in setting up apartments, driving newcomers to appointments and helping them feel at home in their new land. Over the past three years, these parishes have been actively involved in co-sponsoring refugee families. Many of those refugees had worked for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The decision also closes a chapter in the ministry of Sister Elisabeth Lang, OP, who helped resettle three generations of refugees in the East Bay. Some of those she helped resettle in the 1970s from Southeast Asia have prospered and have become the source of rental properties in the every-challenging housing environment of the East Bay.

In the past 45 years, Catholic Charities has resettled an estimated 10,000 refugee families, including Sister Elisabeth’s own family from Vietnam.

“I’m astonished that I’d stay this long,” Sister Elisabeth said, “God has different ways to encourage me into work I’ve never imagined. I’ve been blessed. I have no regrets.”

Full story at The Catholic Voice.