We are all one family under God.

"This is the rule of love: the good that we desire for ourselves we desire for our neighbor also; and the evil that we are unwilling to undergo we wish to prevent from happening to our neighbor. All who love God will have such a desire toward everybody."

- Saint Augustine (True Religion, 87))

The Issue at Hand

According to Pew Research, the U.S. has more immigrants than any other nation in the world. Approximately 14% of the U.S. population has immigrated from another country.  Immigration has been a key national debate for decades as society has weighed economic, security, and humanitarian concerns.  Yet little has been resolved in the debate and many suffer as a result.   This has only intensified as humanitarian crises around the world have forced many to leave their home countries. 

What St. Augustine Says

Augustine lived in a society with many similarities to our own. Among these similarities was a diverse population of people. This diversity included both people who were born in North Africa and people who had migrated there. Further, Augustine recognized that the goods of the earth belong to all people.  Responsible distribution of those goods in order to meet the needs of the poor were two themes that appear prominently throughout his writings.

These same themes are echoed over 1,600 years later in our modern day Catholic Social Teaching. We are invited today to reflect on how these principles apply to the challenges associated with immigration today.

How to Respond

In the General Chapter of 2019, the Order of Saint Augustine renewed its support and encouragement of a concrete commitment to the needs of refugees in all regions of the world.  This includes specific projects and ministries, social and economic action, and cooperation with conferences of religious congregations.

There are many ways anyone can  respond to the issue of those who suffer from unjust immigration policies, especially migrants and refugees.  This could include teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), providing material support to those arriving to the U.S., or advocating for the rights and dignity of all people.  As Saint Augustine taught, “begin loving somewhere and the rest will follow” (On the Letter of John 10, 3).

Reflect & Respond Today


The Augustinian Defenders of the Rights of the Poor builds bridges between providers, recipients and leaders across economic, political and religious spectra by matching individuals resources needed to build better communities.

Augustinians International

Augustinians International works to promote equitable sharing of earth’s resources, protection of the rights of all and their empowerment through education, safety and protection, business opportunities, family and societal support and health services.


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