Lenten Book Group

One Lenten practice at St. Michael’s has been to seek a deeper understanding how we can more fully live into our commitment to “Seek justice. Love Mercy. And Walk Humbly with God.” With that in mind, the Immigrant Welcoming Congregation (IWC) team would like to invite you, whether you speak English or Spanish, to participate in a Lenten book study group that will explore what it means to be “undocumented” in this country.

The book we have chosen (available in both English and Spanish) is Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist.  Ever wondered what it is like to suddenly find out at age 16 that you can’t get a driver’s license because you don’t have the proper paperwork? Or what it’s like to climb to the top tiers of journalism while pretending to be a US citizen? This memoir will give you an opportunity to reflect on what it means to belong, to be an outsider and to be a citizen. You will find a brief synopsis of the book and information about its availability in English and Spanish at this link as well as two short video clips featuring the author.

Please join members of the IWC team and Fr. Beto Arciniega for five Wednesdays at noon from March 9-April 6 during Lent. The hour-long session (12-1pm) will be held on Zoom. To sign up for this experience, email Gillian Butler and she will send you the Zoom link. If you have questions, please contact any member of the IWC team.

Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

What is the book about?

“This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book––at its core––is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home. After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.” Jose Antonio Vargus from Dear America

Where can I get a copy?

If you don’t have a copy, the English-language version will be available at St. Michael beginning Friday, February 18, new copies for purchase and a small number of used copies at no cost.  New and used copies are available online and from local bookstores, also. Be sure to check to see that the office is open before you stop by to pick up a copy.

Querida América, Notas de un ciudadano indocumentado

De qué trata el libro?

“Este no es un libro sobre la política de inmigración. En realidad, no es un libro sobre inmigración en absoluto. Trata de la falta de un hogar, no en el sentido tradicional, sino en el de la inestable deriva psicológica en que nos hallamos los inmigrantes indocumentados como yo. Este libro cuenta lo que es mentir y verse obligado a mentir para sobrevivir; y cuenta lo que es pasar como estadounidense y ciudadano de pro. Habla de las familias, de cómo mantenerlas juntas o, cuando eso no es posible, de verse obligado a formar familias nuevas. Este es un libro sobre vivir permanentemente a escondidas del gobierno y, en consecuencia, vivir a escondidas de nosotros mismos. Este es un libro sobre lo que significa no tener un hogar.

Después de 25 años viviendo ilegalmente en un país que no me considera uno de los suyos, este libro es lo más parecido que tengo a la libertad” Jose Antonio Vargas, de Querida America.

Dónde puedo obtener una copia?

El libro en español estará disponible gratis el domingo, 20 de febrero, de Padre Beto