January 26, 2018:For immediate release

 National priests’ group adds support for priest who is fasting for DACA

A Catholic priest who is fasting to show his support for immigrants is himself getting the support of a national group of Catholic priests. Rev. Gary Graf, a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago, has promised to fast from solid food until lawmakers replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Leadership team members of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests announced their support for Graf and for the children of immigrants threatened by the end of DACA.

“We support our brother priest in his public action, taken to help young immigrants who came illegally to this country as children,” said Rev. Bernard “Bob” Bonnot, chair of the AUSCP leadership team. “We will pray for Father Graf and the cause he has espoused. We commit our leadership team to fast, if possible, at least one day a week until this issue is resolved. We encourage our members to join us.”

The AUSCP is the largest association of Catholic priests in the United States, with about 1,200 members. The leadership team was meeting in Albuquerque to plan their next national assembly, when they learned of the hunger strike.

According to media reports, Graf told parishioners of his plan at a parish Mass in mid-January, promising to live off water and protein powder at least until March 5, the deadline given by President Donald Trump to end the program. Bishops and priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago, including Cardinal Blase Cupich, are lending support, according to an article published by the Chicago Tribune.

The AUSCP joins the U.S. Catholic bishops and other Catholic voices for comprehensive immigration reform, preservation of families, justice for DACA recipients, and respect for the dignity of all persons regardless of immigration status.

Contact Rev. Bernard “Bob” Bonnot,  auscpbonnot@gmail.com, (330) 397-1257

Sr. Jacquelyn Doepker, OSF, Executive Secretary, office@uscatholicpriests.org, (872) 205-5862