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Parishes Organized to Welcome Refugees




POWR's goal is to develop long-term, sustainable programs. The positive impact of the POWR program has been significant. Since its inception in 2010, the participating dioceses have recruited thousands of parish and community volunteers who were assisting refugees adjust to life in the U.S. With the help of so many little friends, thousands of refugee clients received pro bono legal counsel and medical services, made friends, learned English, found work, and achieved social integration.


The POWR program has been extremely successful in increasing volunteer support, as well as generating local cash and in-kind donations. Analysis of the most recent program cycle shows that diocesan resettlement sites were able to generate $4 for every $1 of USCCB funding.

Documentation and Training

USCCB/Migration and Refugee Services launched a bi-monthly e-newsletter, The POWR Post, to document the successes of the program. This publication helps program participants (and other USCCB/MRS network affiliates) learn from one another, and thereby leverage new funding sources and improve upon their own programs. The electronic publication is accompanied by a series of workshops related to resource development and program oversight.


Innovative Ways to Engage Parishes

The engagement of our local Catholic community continues to surprise and humble. This is attributed to our POWR team, and I know that continued resources from USCCB will only increase our ability to refine and expand our efforts. This program has provided the foundation for strong working relationships in which our team continues to find innovative ways to engage parishes.

     - Steven E. Bogus, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Louisville, Inc.

Mobilizing parishioners for refugees

The POWR program made our parish more aware of the global refugee situation and opportunities to provide meaningful assistance. It supports an important partnership between Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and local parishes; I cannot envision how many refugees would be able to cope and adjust well without the support of these important components.

     - Parishioner at St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish, Santa Clara, California

A wonderful concept

POWR is a wonderful concept and I commend the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Services for their continued support of the program.

     - Most Rev. Felipe J. Estévez, S.T.D., Bishop of St. Augustine

Who to Contact

Contact Daniel Sturm at with any questions or contributions.

POWR Post E-Newsletter

The POWR Post E-Newsletter disseminates promising practices of the Parishes Organized to Welcome Refugees (POWR) program participants on a bi-monthly basis. Copies can be obtained upon request.

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