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2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Although the Catholic Church has welcomed newcomers since the very founding of our nation, since 1965 alone MRS has assisted over 1 million refugees to begin new lives in the United States through its nationwide network of affiliated partner agencies.  In more recent years, MRS has greatly expanded its service network to respond to the plight of thousands of unaccompanied children and victims of human trafficking.  MRS has also been a leading advocate for fair and just policies, both nationally and internationally, that serve to protect and uphold the fundamental rights of migrants, immigrants, refugees, human trafficking victims, and other vulnerable persons on the move.  

Please join  us on November 19th, to help Migration and Refugee Services celebrate our 50th Anniversary!
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Thursday, November 19 • 6:30pm - 7:15pm
Program Honoring MRS' 50 Years of Service

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CELEBRATE MRS’ 50 years of service to immigrants, migrants, refugees and people on the move by joining us for an evening of international food, music and camaraderie.

Ambassador Thomas Shannon, Counselor for the U.S. Department of State, will recognize MRS for its partnership in resettling over one million refugees in the last 50 years.

MRS will also honor exemplarary individuals and partners who have furthered MRS' vision of creating a world where immigrants, migrants, refugees and people on the move are treated with dignity and respect. 

Special Honorees Include: 

Anh Joseph Cao, Esq. Founder and Partner, Cao Law Firm, former representative, Louisiana’s Second Congressional District; first Vietnamese-American member of Congress, former refugee from Vietnam

Catholic Charities Diocesan Partners 

Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ, Director of the Humanitarian Crisis Relief Center, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley

Eric Wowoh, Founder and Executive Director of the Change Action Network 

Following an awards presentation, enjoy international food stations and music provided by Trio Caliente.


Speakers
avatar for William Canny

William Canny

Executive Director, Migration and Refugee Services, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
William (Bill) Canny is the current Executive Director of Migration and Refugee Services. He has worked for over 25 years for agencies in service to the Catholic Church  and to refugees and migrants through his previous positions at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the International Catholic Migration Commission, and the Papal Foundation.
avatar for Most Rev. Eusebio Elizondo

Most Rev. Eusebio Elizondo

Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Seattle
Bishop Elizondo is currently Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Migration and the Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle. He is the first Hispanic bishop in Seattle. He also serves as the Vicar General, the Vicar for Hispanic Ministries and the Vicar for Vocations of the Archdiocese.
avatar for Ambassador Thomas Shannon

Ambassador Thomas Shannon

Counselor of the Department, U.S. Department of State
Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., was appointed Counselor of the Department by Secretary Kerry on December 24, 2013. Ambassador Shannon had served briefly as Senior Advisor to the Secretary following his return in September from Brazil, where he served as United States Ambassador for nearly four years. He is a Career Ambassador in the Senior Foreign Service of the United States. Ambassador Shannon is only the seventh Foreign Service Officer to hold the... Read More →
avatar for His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl

His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl

Archbishop of Washington; Honorary Chairman of MRS' 50th Anniversary Celebration
Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. He participated in the March 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.  Cardinal Wuerl is Honorary Chairman of MRS' 50th Anniversary Celebration.  He serves on numerous national and international bodies and is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate... Read More →

Honorees
avatar for Anh Joseph Cao, Esq.

Anh Joseph Cao, Esq.

Founding Partner, Cao Law Firm
Mr. Cao is the Founding Partner of the Cao Law Firm.   He was the  U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district from 2009 to 2011 and the first Vietnamese-American to serve in Congress.  Cao was eight years old when he was resettled to the United States in 1975 with two other siblings and an uncle as refugees.  Cao studied to become a Roman Catholic priest. He withdrew from the seminary and earned a M.A... Read More →
avatar for Catholic Charities Diocesan Partners

Catholic Charities Diocesan Partners

Migration and Refugee Services would like to use the occasion of its Golden Anniversary to recognize the indispensable role of its partner Catholic Charities agencies across the country which have enabled the Catholic Church to resettle well over a million refugees in the last 50 years.
avatar for Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ

Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ

Executive Director, Humanitarian Crisis Relief Center, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
Sr. Norma is the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, Diocese of Brownsville, TX. Under her leadership, Catholic Charities operates a respite center to meet the basic needs of migrants, mostly women and children, arriving in large numbers across the Southwest border with the help of the Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, TX.  Through the heroic efforts of many volunteers and the receipt of generous donations, the... Read More →
avatar for Eric Wowoh

Eric Wowoh

Founder and Executive Director, Change Action Network
Mr. Wowoh is a former Liberian refugee now living in Dallas, TX. He was resettled by MRS through Catholic Charities of Lafayette, LA in August 2006.  Since his arrival in the US, he has established an organization called the Change Agent Network (CAN).  CAN partners with impoverished African communities to fight poverty through education. They have successfully networked with individuals and institutions to build 14 schools across... Read More →

Thursday November 19, 2015 6:30pm - 7:15pm
Grand Ballroom North Central