This Sunday, April 27th, we join the global celebration of the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. In this historic moment, we witness the sainthood of spiritual leaders who embodied the Church’s most dearly held values. Popes John XXIII and John Paul II worked tirelessly for vulnerable groups and shared the timeless principles of human dignity, family unity, and solidarity on behalf of at-risk migrants.
Our affiliate highlight this month is Paz Padilla, whose dedicated work and faith-filled service at Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey is inspiring.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
The evening “Angela,” a woman in her early thirties, arrived at the shelter for women and children in Nogales, Mexico she was desperate to reunite with her husband “Tino” with whom she had traveled North two weeks before. The couple traversed the Sonora desert together and crossed the border successfully, but were picked up at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Arizona only days after entering the United States. The pair was separated upon apprehension and that was the last Angela saw of her husband. Angela described her husband to other migrants and service providers.
Last month I joined 500 immigrant youth organizers as they convened for the United We Dream congress. As organizers shared their stories, I was struck by how deportations have broken so many of their families. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a victory, allowing many young people to live and work in the United States without fear of removal, but for many who are still separated from loved ones abroad, the dream is now to see their families reunited and protected from the threat of deportation.
Today is an occasion to pause from our busy lives and remember our migrant sisters and brothers who have died trying to reach the United States. The mass and procession at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, hosted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, awakens us to the plight of the more than 6,000 migrants who have perished at the border in pursuit of a better life. Whether joining in prayer at the border, gathered with co-workers in your office, or in silent reflection at your computer, each of us is encouraged to take up the Holy Father’s call to solidarity with
On March 2, 2014 I had the pleasure of partaking in the Cambia tu Vida Campaign media launch in New York City and experiencing the excitement brewing as community, religious, and government leaders gathered to promote naturalization as a benchmark of integration.
Immigrant integration is a joint effort between newcomers and the receiving society to create a new community that reflects the needs and wants of everyone.
After crossing the length of Mexico over ground to get to the border, “Luisa,” a 36 year old widow from the indigenous municipality of Tamazulápam de Espíritu Santo in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, and her 20 year old son “Pedro” attempted to cross into the United States by walking through the harsh and unpopulated desert near Nogales, Arizona. Unlike most unauthorized migrants who attempt to cross the U.S. – Mexico border, Luisa and Pedro did not contract the service of a guide.