Recently, three of our Sisters: Patti Rossi, Janice Vanderneck, and Jeanette Bussen, along with former Sister and benefactor Maureen Haggarty, and friend of the community Carol McCracken, were privileged to spend time welcoming and caring for our migrant neighbors at the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. The Respite Center, founded by Sister Norma Pimentel through Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, gives migrants in crisis a safe place to rest, bathe, change into clean clothing, and prepare for the continuation of their difficult journey seeking asylum.
We look forward to sharing the migrants’ stories, so you too can learn their names, remember their struggles, and hold them in your hearts as their long and uncertain journey towards freedom—freedom from fear, and from the violence, poverty, and hunger that’s torn their lives apart—continues.
Until then, we offer our deepest gratitude for your financial and prayerful support of our mission. We were overwhelmed with your generous donations of $14,650.51, which helped our Sisters initially purchase hand towels, jeans, belts, leggings, and shoes for both adults and children for the hundreds of people served each day at the Humanitarian Respite Center. Be assured that your contributions will continue to support our ongoing mission to care for migrant families. It is affirming to us to be in communion with so many others who also see the face of God in all of our brothers and sisters.
Sadly, a change in federal policy now denies migrants the safety of seeking asylum from inside our border, forcing them to wait in far more dangerous areas of Mexico until their claims can be heard. However, the work of the Respite Center will continue, as will ours, locally, through Casa San José, a resource center for Latino immigrants making their home in the Pittsburgh area founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 2013.
We ask for your continued prayers for the safety of migrant families making the treacherous journey across Central America and for the softening of hearts, that all may come to see our migrant neighbors as our beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ, with whom we share the world and to whom we have a responsibility to love, as we love ourselves.
Below are updates we shared through Facebook during the trip:
Our Sisters have returned from the border, but the need there is still great.
We encourage you to support the work of the Humanitarian Respite Center by donating directly to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley either online, or by mail to:
Humanitarian Respite Center
c/o Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd
San Juan Tx 78589
Please specify that your donation is for the Humanitarian Center