The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word once again call our congregational family to gather in prayer and reflection in solidarity of the preventable deaths of 50 people, including children, found this Monday, June 27, in an abandoned trailer on the streets of San Antonio, Texas. The frailty and precariousness of our migrant sisters and brothers hurt us. We recognize that this is a tragedy repeated globally, as recently occurring in Melilla, Spain, in which 23 people died trying to reach better opportunities.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, join with Catholic faith leaders throughout the country and others in expressing our extreme disappointment and disagreement with President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has benefitted over 800,000 young people who are our neighbors, our classmates, our co-workers, our fellow parishioners, and friends. The decision to cancel this program will not only hurt and hinder the future of these young people who currently have DACA status, but also our communities, churches, states, and entire country.
I live in a village in the middle of the City of St. Louis. My village is multi-national, multi-cultural, and multi-generational. It is held together by string – a string of relationships. This is the story of “the day I became string.”
“You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 23:9.
On Saturday, April 8, 2017 hundreds of people gathered at the campus of St. Louis University to stand and march in solidarity with our immigrant and refugee neighbors. This Solidarity March and Mass at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica was sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and co-sponsored by a number of other religious congregations including the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Present at the march representing the Congregation was Sr. Anne Marie Burke, Sr. Pilar Neira, and Jennifer Reyes Lay.
The call of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word is to make the love of God as shown in the Incarnation a real and tangible presence in the world today. This means that we have a particular responsibility to practice the love of Jesus as shown in the Gospels, in the present and in our own reality, wherever we are.
Why should we set one day apart to make the world aware of the refugees and migrants? Is it not enough to see the newscasts every day, to listen to the radio, or to follow the social networks to know that the number of persons who, by choice or necessity, leave their place of origin is increasing? The answer is NO.
There is no doubt about it! Immigration has been in the news regularly, especially since unaccompanied children started arriving in larger numbers over a year ago.
Sister Anne Marie Burke tells us of her experience while volunteering at Loreto/Nazareth Hospitality Center, in El Paso, Texas.