One of the Calls to Action from Congregational Chapter 2013 states that because we believe in collaborating with others for Justice, we commit ourselves to: Walk with those who are marginalized, those who live in poverty, as an essential lens in sharing resources and evaluating and forming partnerships.
The plight of many women and children who are crossing the border in Texas, California and Arizona is great. They are coming mostly from Central America. Loraine Polacci, CSJ and Isabel Malloy, CSJA from San Francisco, have responded to this need by volunteering for the month of July to work with Catholic Community Services in Tucson and Nogales, with their program of migrant women and children. They received the following response from Tucson:
Your Sisters are needed! I was at a meeting today with Bishop in the lead, the Mayor and 20 plus others from agencies, MX Council, and so on. One thing came up, that the Border Patrol is mostly men…and so they don’t have enough women to take on the “womanly” care of the children that is needed – relationship wise. Welcome to the Sisters!
July 10, 2014 Update from S. Lorraine…..
Our second home is Catholic Community Services. Most days we are there sorting and separating donations into usable packages: toiletries, smaller packets of diapers …, everything you can imagine. Isabel is a real trooper and runs circles around me with her energy! We might transport these supplies to the bus station, and a couple of times we have stayed there to help the women and children, especially in their getting ready for the next part of their journey. The most difficult job is helping them to understand their multi-page bus ticket which is very complicated and of course in English.
Two stories: an eight or nine year old boy seemingly had what he needed in a change of clothes, water and snacks. But he kept coming back to the supply area. When I asked in Spanish what he needed, he said, “algo para mis primos.” He has two cousins where he and his mom are headed. I understood he wanted a something to take to each of them, regalo. We found a small stuffed animal and a coloring book, and he was so pleased that he has something to give. On another day, Theresa Kvale and I were sent to the bus station to make sure a woman and her nine year old son Pasqual got on the right bus. Maria speaks no Spanish, and her son very little. How do you explain to them that as they travel to North Carolina they will need to change buses sometimes, sometimes wait for their connection in another strange place, etc. We did the best we could—which in reality was next to nothing in those circumstances—blessed them and got them seated on the right bus. Each of us continues to carry them in our hearts.
Join us in praying for Maria and Pasqual that they will be safe and somehow reach their destination where her husband and Pasqual’s father wait.