Category Archives: Jean Stokan

A Tale of Two Borders: Fevers and Concertina Wire (Part II)

January 12, 2019

This is the 4th of 4 blog posts for National Migration Week. These stories written by Sisters of Mercy, Companions in Mercy, and Mercy staff will address the spiritual, political and moral dimensions of migration. Read along with us as we seek to build Communities of Welcome.

By Jean Stokan

Imagine the Christmas manger surrounded by razor-spiked concertina wire, preventing Jesus and the Holy Family from fleeing Herod, who threatens to kill them.

Having spent Thanksgiving week volunteering at Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, receiving hundreds of parents and children who had recently crossed the U.S.–Mexico border, I’m haunted by the faces of all the sick children.

Artwork on the walls of the dining room at Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas
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Una historia de dos fronteras: Fiebres y alambre con púas (2ª parte)

January 12, 2019

 

Por Jean Stokan

Imagina el pesebre navideño rodeado de alambre con púas, para que Jesús y la Sagrada Familia no huyan de Herodes, que los amenaza con la muerte.

Después de haber pasado como voluntaria la semana de Acción de Gracias en el Hogar de la Anunciación en el Paso, Texas recibiendo cientos de padres de familia y niños que habían cruzado recientemente la frontera de México y los Estados Unidos, me atormentan aún los rostros de todos los niños enfermos.

Arte en el comedor del Hogar de la Anunciación
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A Tale of Two Borders: The Roots of the Problem (Part I)

January 8, 2019

By Jean Stokan

This is the 2nd of 4 blog posts for National Migration Week. These stories written by Sisters of Mercy, Companions in Mercy, and Mercy staff will address the spiritual, political and moral dimensions of migration. Read along with us as we seek to build Communities of Welcome.

The “tale of the border” that we know is not the story told by the U.S. president, who warns of an invasion of criminals, sends heavily armed soldiers to prevent migrants from crossing, and launches tear gas on women and children. Of course, border security is important to prevent dangerous persons from entering, but to distort the reality of the majority crossing the border, and to treat them as criminals, is unconscionable.

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Una historia de dos fronteras: Las raíces del problema (1ª parte)

January 8, 2019

Por Jean Stokan

La «historia de la frontera» que conocemos no es la historia que nos cuenta el presidente de los Estados Unidos que advierte de una invasión de criminales, que envía soldados fuertemente armados para evitar el cruce de inmigrantes y lanzan gases lacrimógenos a mujeres y niños. Claro, la seguridad en la frontera es importante para prevenir que ingresen personas peligrosas, pero distorsionar esta realidad de la mayoría que cruza la frontera y tratarlos como criminales, es desaprensivo.

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Touching Wounds, Touching Hope: A Reflection on Prayer, Social Justice and Poetry

July 24, 2015

By Jean Stokan

Jean Stokan at a deportation policies protest in front of the White House in July 2014.

Jean Stokan at a deportation policies protest in front of the White House in July 2014.

Way too much moves me at levels deep. The wounds of this world can be overwhelming if one’s eyes are wide open to the massive suffering of those made poor, and the spiraling violence and racism destroying precious lives all over the globe, including in our own city streets. I’ve worked in inner city housing projects and in rural Appalachia; I have been to Hiroshima and Nagasaki; during the war years in El Salvador, I took religious delegations to sites of massacres perpetrated by U.S. funded security forces. Today, my email inbox is stuffed with reports of human rights violations from Honduras, death squads and all.

The litany goes on. Suffice it to say that I’ve wept buckets. My response is usually to work around the clock in hopes of making some difference in building a more just and peace-filled world. Advocacy, organizing and activism consume me. Yet every now and then a graced moment comes—a touch of the Divine—reminding me that while such frenzied activity is important, other pathways are opened by tenderness and “things of the heart.”   Read More »

Advent Cries in the Wilderness: “We can’t breathe”

December 17, 2014

By Jean Stokan, Institute Justice Team

A rally was held in Washington, DC on December 13 to express outrage over recent racial injustices.

A rally was held in Washington, DC on December 13 to express outrage over recent racial injustices.

Eric Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” echoes, pierces and unmasks. The grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in the killing of unarmed African-American men—Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York—coupled with the Justice Department’s statement that the killing of a 12-year-old boy in Cleveland, Ohio, reveals a police force “engaged in a pattern and practice of using excessive force.” All have laid bare the deep wounds of racism in our country. Whether or not the individual officers would have been found guilty in the first two cases, the role of the grand juries served to preempt public judicial processes and expose the lack of accountability in the killings.

A national outcry has been provoked with protests from coast to coast, as these cases are but the tip of an iceberg of way too many precious lives lost. They cry out for deep examination and dismantling of the entrenched structures of racism built into societal institutions that serve as a death sentence, albeit sometimes slow, for anyone simply born with dark skin.
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El Adviento clama en el desierto: «No podemos respirar»

December 17, 2014

Por Jean Stokan, Equipo de Justicia del Instituto

El 13 de diciembre se realizó una manifestación en Washington, DC para expresar enojo por las recientes injusticias raciales.

El 13 de diciembre se realizó una manifestación en Washington, DC para expresar enojo por las recientes injusticias raciales.

Las últimas palabras de Eric Garner, «No puedo respirar», resuenan, penetran y desenmascaran. La decisión de los jurados de no inculpar a los policías blancos en los asesinatos de hombres afroamericanos desarmados –Michael Brown en Ferguson, Missouri, y Eric Garner en Staten Island, Nueva York—junto con la declaración del Departamento de Justicia del asesinato de un niño de 12 años en Cleveland, Ohio, revela una fuerza policial «que participa en un patrón y una práctica de emplear fuerza excesiva». Todo esto ha dejado al descubierto las profundas heridas del racismo en nuestro país. Sea o no sea que los oficiales hubieran sido encontrados culpables en los primeros dos casos, la labor del gran jurado sirvió para predecir los procesos judiciales públicos y exponer la falta de rendición de cuentas por los homicidios.

Un clamor nacional ha provocado protestas de costa a costa, ya que estos casos son sólo la punta del iceberg de demasiadas vidas preciosas perdidas. Ellos claman por una investigación profunda y un desmantelamiento de las estructuras radicadas en el racismo que forman parte de las instituciones sociales que sirven como sentencia de muerte, aunque lenta, para la persona que simplemente nace con piel oscura.
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Por Jean Stokan, Equipo de Justicia del Instituto

Muchas/os de nosotras/os hemos tenido la oportunidad santa de estar con alguien justo antes de morir.  Es un tiempo en que profundas emociones de amor, pena y gratitud  se arremolinan en lo más hondo de nuestro ser.  Si alguien está gravemente enfermo/a, tal vez presenciemos o seamos parte de una intervención médica tratando de hacer todo lo posible por prevenir que nuestro ser querido muera innecesariamente.

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Holy Thursday in Ordinary Time: Honduras

August 7, 2012

By Jean Stokan, Institute Justice Team

Many of us have had the graced opportunity to be with someone just before they died.  It’s a time when emotions of profound love, sorrow and gratitude swirl at levels deep.  If someone is critically ill, we may witness or be part of a medical intervention trying to do everything possible to prevent our loved one from dying unnecessarily.

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The Children Are Asking

October 20, 2011

By Jean Stokan

Photo Courtesy of Common Cause

In July, I was humbled and privileged to be part of a group of faith leaders who, in the days of heated Congressional debate on the federal debt, found a way to elevate the suffering that would be borne by poor and working people if drastic budget cuts were pursued — we processed into the nation’s Capitol and knelt to pray in the Rotunda.  Arrested when we would not leave, yesterday, almost three months later, we of the “Rotunda 11” had our day in court. Read More »