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February 2022 newsletter

 

Coralis Salvador, U.S.-Mexico Border

The Maryknoll Lay Missioners board of directors at the border

“[We have] forgotten that we belong to each other.”

—St. Teresa of Calcutta

Warm greetings from the U.S.-Mexico border!

Omicron caused the cancellation of our January and February Encuentro Project participants. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the past year’s events and on what lies ahead.

Guests having lunch at our Casa Vides shelter.

Ruben Garcia is the founder and executive director of Annunciation House, which provides shelters for migrants, asylum seekers released by ICE and U.S. Border Patrol as well as patients released from hospitals after being treated for injuries suffered while crossing the border. Ruben recently posed this question in one of our meetings: “How are we being prophetic?” For me, a prophet in our time is someone who is in touch with her true self and who proclaims and lives God’s will.

Glenn Pakiam, a pastor and author, says, “A Christian is driven to act and speak because she has seen a different future. . . Every time we welcome the stranger, forgive an enemy, show mercy to the offender or protect the vulnerable, we are a signpost to the future.” Our current social environment fosters fear, division and insecurity, but our faith calls us to be signposts and lights to overcome the darkness that surrounds us.

Many volunteers come to El Paso shelters — from two weeks to a year — and are touched by their experience. It’s such a grace to hear them share how they’ve been transformed and how they’ll carry the experience wherever it takes them.

Prayers as guests are being sent on

Even in our shorter Encuentro programs, participants are impacted by what they witness.

I invite you to reflect on the question, “How are you being prophetic?” The time is ripe. Take a chance and visit our websites at AnnunciationHouse.org, mklm.org/border or EncuentroProject.org and be prophetic!

In January, our community welcomed our newest Maryknoll lay missioner, Deirdre Griffin, a Sister of St Joseph. Deirdre is now in Guadalajara for a 10-week course in Spanish. We are grateful to the Marist Brothers for hosting her during her studies. Deirdre will be working with Las Americas, an organization providing legal services to immigrants and advocacy for human rights.

I am heartened by your continued prayers and your partnering with our prophetic mission. I pray that Lent and Easter bring you spiritual renewal and joy.

Many thanks and blessings,
Coralis

 


Please consider making a special gift to Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ “Walk With Us” campaign, which raises money for the recruitment, training and ongoing support of all of us lay missioners. We can only “walk with” the people here because you are “walking with” us. Thanks to matching gifts, every $100 given to the campaign in effect becomes $150. To donate ONLINE, click the “Walk With Us” button below. Thank you so much for your generosity!

 

Distributing meals at Sacred Heart

Sporting the purple hat knitted and given to me by one of our guests

With Deirdre, our newest lay missioner (back row, second from left), at the Marist Brothers community in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Coralis Salvador Coralis Salvador
Coralis is a community volunteer at a shelter for asylum seekers released from ICE or CBP detentions and at “La Tilma” feeding program of Sacred Heart Church in El Paso, Texas. She previously served with Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Kenya for 19 years. She is the co-author of the Orbis book What’s So Blessed About Being Poor?