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Visitation Province

MAY, 2022 TRIP TO THE BORDER by Donna Wuhrer

It was a blessing to live in community for two weeks with Sr. Joan Lewis and novice/soon-to-be Sister, Christa. Our conversations, prayer time, shared meals, and laughter were grace-filled moments that enriched my time at the border.

The three of us volunteered daily at CRM, Centro de Recursos Para Migrantes (Migrant Resource Center), in Agua Prieta, Mexico. After migrants are apprehended and processed at a center near Douglas, AZ, they are taken to the wall/gate at Agua Prieta and expelled. CRM was built purposefully at the end of the sidewalk to welcome them. We worked with the staff and volunteers at the center to offer food, water, clothing, information and non-urgent medical care and supplies to the men and women who entered our gates. It is a safe place for people to rest and call their families before meeting their handler/coyote for another attempt to cross the border.

Some of the men and women we met wanted to talk about their experiences of walking for days in the desert especially at night when it was difficult to see and keep up with their group. They feared being left behind. They also shared about their determination to make multiple attempts to cross because they wanted better lives for themselves and their families.

During our stay, we joined in remembrance marches for people who died while crossing. Participants held white crosses and proclaimed the names (or “No Identificado) of people who died on their journey seeking safety and freedom. The marches are held on busy streets near the border and near the border wall as a witness to the community.

We were also privileged to participate in a Cross Planting Ceremony. Our group gathered for a sacred prayer service to remember and honor a man whose body was found several months before in this wooded area near a small river in Arizona.

Thank you to all who offered prayers for us; they truly carried us during our time at the border. And thank you for your generous monetary and gift card donations! We were able to buy many, many items such as shirts, socks, sneakers, medicine and bandages! The smiles were priceless when people received a new item of clothing! I am so grateful to the Sisters in Blessed Sacrament Province for this life-changing opportunity. It is a blessing for me to be an Associate in the Congregation and to have “walked the way of Visitation” with my brothers and sisters at the border!


From Our Leadership Team

How do I perceive the CND charism today?

How does it call me to react today in the context of the world in which I live?

How does it push me into the future

In preparation for the General Conference, the members of the Leadership Team had been asked to reflect on these questions, and we began our July 9-10 meeting by pondering them anew. Both at our meeting and earlier at the General Conference, the sharing that resulted generated energy, hope, and a deeper sense of connection among us. So we plan to begin our U.S. Summer Gathering on August 18th with conversation around the same questions.

Our hope for our time together is captured in a phrase suggested by facilitator Rosemary Brennan, CSJ: “rooted in our reality and yet always about mission.” We are pleased that 54 Sisters plan to attend and hope that a number of Associates will be able to participate on August 20th for the gathering and Christa’s profession.

We also reviewed reports from Mission Advancement and the Communications Loop Group and approved donations to

  • Catholic Climate Covenant
  • Catholic Committee of the South
  • Center for Applied Research on the Apostolate
  • Family Crisis Support Services, Inc.

 

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