Churning Out Americans

March 16th, 2010 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

By European standards, 150 years is no big deal and it’s even a short term in Boston history. On the other hand, a group of nuns in South Boston have been ringing the school bells instead of waving crucifixes for that long. The Notre Dame Education Center has been about the business of staging immigrants to take part in this new-to-them nation.

Short-term, you can meet the NDEC folk and their supporters while tossing back a few at the same time. They have a Harbor cruise/fund raiser on the Spirit of Boston in a couple of weeks,  Thursday, April 8th. You need to reserve by Friday, April 2nd, to mingle with the sundry do-gooders who support the sisters. There’ll be no pitch for funds on board. You can get aboard at various price points.

See the details here, and remember the RSVP date has moved to 4/2.

I mention them for a couple of reasons. First for the disclaimer, a drinking buddy is their development director. Second, I did one of their morning tours to see what they are up to. I’ll tweet the next couple of those; they’re worth the 90 minutes.

Basically, the sisters and various staff teach newcomers and the not-integrated-into-the-U.S. what they need to know…without religious overtones. You don’t have to be a Roman Catholic or any sort of religious type nor even live in Boston or its South Boston neighborhood. You do need to get the language, civics and communication skills to move yourself up and plug into America.

See their programs here.

Some of us seem to like the ideas of building literal and legislative walls to keep any and all immigrants out. These plain-clothes nuns are about the business of helping those who are here become productive Americans. I know which side I fall on in this one.

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