In the Chapel of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Jan. 5, 2020, hosted a gathering to open “National Immigration Week” which has been observed by the Catholic Church for over 50 years. Read on for a summary of the gathering.
One can look across at the beautiful stained-glass images---gorgeous rich colors masking the terrible story. Your child may not live if you don’t leave your family, your culture, and all that you have and flee to another country. Afraid of the violence promoted by greed that might kill their son, they risked all to get to a safer place---Mary and Joseph took the child and fled into Egypt.
Person who are working with immigrants and refugees in South Texas spoke of conditions they have seen and stories they had heard.
All listened to a story:
A reading from a legal Declaration from a child, June 18, 2019, which has been shared through Project Amplify
For over 50 years, the Church in the United States has
celebrated National Migration Week, starting on the Feast of
the Epiphany. This week celebrates that “God is revealed
through the faces of the thousands of migrants who cross
our border, who walk this earth with us, and who suffer
mightily for a life of dignity.”
Pope Francis recently said migrants are victims of
injustice. “It is injustice that forces many migrants to leave
their lands. It is injustice that forces them to cross deserts
and suffer abuse and torture in detention camps. It is
injustice that rejects them and makes them die at sea.” He
went further to say, “We must help and save [these victims],
because we are all responsible for the life of our neighbor,
and the Lord will ask us for an account at the time of
“My two younger siblings and I came from Ecuador. I am 11 years old. My little brother is 9 years old. And we have our baby sister who is 7 years old. We came to the United States with our father and a lady, but our father disappeared in Mexico and they separated does from the lady as soon as we got to America. We have lots of family in America, including our mother, grandmother, and uncle. Our grandmother's name is here and where she lives and this is her telephone number.
We eat, sleep, and live in room 198. There are about 50 kids in there and 8 or 10 beds. There are no workers inside to take care of us so the kids try to take care of one another. When the workers come to clean our room, we get to go out into the hallway. We've only been outside twice.
We sleep on a mat on the floor. There are about 10 kids who sleep on our mat. There is another mat and some children's sleep directly on the floor. It is tile. We shared are mat with a teenage mom and her baby, but she left so now one of the kids who has been sleeping on the floor can now sleep on the mat with us.
My brother and I have had one shower since we came here, but they have not called for any shower yet. We have only brushed our teeth once. We take a shower in a big truck with three showers inside.
The toilet is inside of the room where we sleep. There is no separate room, just two stalls with no doors. The older girls try to cover themselves with a blanket so we don't see them when they go to the bathroom. The bunk beds are right in front of the toilets stalls.
Nobody takes care of us here. I try to take care of my little brother and sister since no one will take care of them. There are little kids here who have no one to take care of them, not even a big brother or sister. Some kids are only two or three years old and they have no one to take care of them."
(This story is from page 20 of the June 2019 TRO Declarations of children https://caa154b8-aaab-49ea-9a6e-a61043ab77a2.filesusr.com/ugd/ec5f1c_5c4cecc9004a4936808574893c78b699.pdf )
Mark’s gospel recounting Jesus saying, “Let the children come to me” was shared.
Sister Martha Ann Kirk invited people to work with Project Amplify sharing stories of children and inviting action to help them. Seeking a safe place to live is not a crime. Please read and share the hundreds of other stories of immigrants From https://www.project-amplify.org/declarations