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Tom, a third-generation American, was raised on the Chicago’s South Side by a Polish father, Irish-German mother, and immigrant grandparents. One of his eight grandchildren is Chinese. Family and military service taught him to embrace diversity, but he resents the violence that means tighter security in airports and schools. Tom believes that while the bad guys are in the minority, immigrants and refugees should go through proper legal routes, like his ancestors did on Ellis Island.

In early 2018, CRS launched: Be UnAfraid as s part of the larger, Share The Journey, global refugee support campaign. This two year project was inspired by Pope Francis. who has called for Catholics globally to make pilgrimages and to encounter their neighbors.

In April we asked dozens of refugees and their American neighbors to start critical conversations by sharing their stories with each other.

What they discovered is that the very fears that tear us apart can actually bring us together.

Photo by Jeremy Cowart for Catholic Relief Services