And Then There Was Joy

Immigrant sufferings

Views from Alongside a Border

at home in better timesA month ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I was reading a book and wondering if it would ever, ever rain again in Brownsville. In this arid land, some older people believe that rainfall is measure of the quality of dialogue between God and God’s creatures. I was convinced that someone in this conversation was not paying attention.

I then got a call from Immaculate Conception Cathedral. The woman on the line simply said, “Please come now. We need your help.”

The woman was a volunteer, calling from a hospitality ministry that the parish had set up for the Central American refugee families. Typically, after the immigrant’s relatives in the US had provided a bus ticket, the border patrol would release the refugees from the detention center, just a bit before the scheduled departure of their bus. The parish, near the bus station, offered the refugees a quick hot meal…

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