By Kari Sims, Director of Service-Learning & Leadership, Mercy Academy, Louisville, Kentucky — I celebrated the 4th of July at a Major League baseball game this year. Before the unfurling of the giant American flag on the field, the announcer asked us all to pause for a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Highland Park shooting that had occurred earlier that morning. A solemn mood washed over the crowd. As we stood in silence, I wondered how many of us thought of the 53 people who died in the truck just outside of San Antonio, Texas—all in search of something better, in search of a home. After spending time at the border this past May, I cannot stop thinking about what it means to call someplace home.
Social Justice Tag: Immigration
By Sister Michele Schroeck — When I think of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint from the territory of the United States and Canada and patroness of ecology, I think of the Bhutanese immigrants living in my neighborhood. They were expelled from their native lands and sent to Nepal, where they lived in refugee camps in the 1990s before coming to the United States. These Bhutanese like many other native peoples were forced to leave their ancestral home.
More than 50 sisters, associates and colleagues in ministry joined the Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, D.C., on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Sister Carren Herring and Sister Diane Guerin recently reflected on what it was like to be a part of this momentous event!
By Elnora Bassey, Policy Advocate, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) — In early May 2022, I arose from my cozy bed hours before sunrise to catch an early flight to the U.S.-Mexico border. An advocate attorney with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), which works to protect immigrant and humanitarian rights, I was participating in a week-long border immersion experience to El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, to learn more about immigration issues facing migrants during and after their journey to the U.S.-Mexico border. The program was sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and hosted by the Columban Mission Center.
By Catherine Walsh, Features Writer
— The joy I found on the U.S.-Mexico border in May surprised me. I heard horrific stories of people fleeing violence and poverty in Central America, Haiti and Ukraine, but I also saw countless kindnesses by migrants and those who help them while I was in El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, Mexico, with the Sisters of Mercy to learn why people are coming to the border in ever higher numbers. I heard people say that the Southern Border is the new Ellis Island.
Following are photos capturing our time at the border.
By Joanne Castner, Mercy Associate — On May 8, 2022, 13 of us from across the United States gathered in the living room of the Columban Mission House in El Paso, Texas, the beginning of an immersion trip to meet with people who find ways to organize their communities and improve living conditions for those in need, and to discover why so many people from other countries are seeking to cross our nation’s borders.
By Gail Presbey, faculty member, University of Detroit Mercy — I was grateful for the opportunity to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border and see for myself the struggles that immigrants have, and to meet the people who are ministering to their needs and organizing for change. I was glad to do so in the company of Sisters of Mercy, Mercy associates and educators at Mercy institutions. I’d like to focus on the women I met there and the important work they do.
By Karel Lucander, Features Writer
— Sister Joan Serda and Sister Marilyn Graf have that feeling you get right before you embark on a big adventure. At 6 a.m. on June 17, they will board the Poor People’s Campaign Bus in Mobile, Alabama, bound for Washington, D.C.—leaving the comfort of the Convent of Mercy far behind.
By Sister Theresa Saetta — As Sister Pat Mulderick and I woke up to a bright and shiny day, we learned that the tent city camp in Reynosa, Mexico, that housed over 2,000 immigrants awaiting asylum in the USA was bulldozed. The families had to scramble to collect their important documents while the authorities screamed at them to get out…now!