Keeping hope alive - Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Advent 2023 newsletter


Coralis Salvador, U.S.-Mexico Border

The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace.
—St. Leo the Great

Children at shelter

Children playing at shelter

During this Advent, as we prepare for Christmas, I can’t help but reflect on the dark situation our current world is in: wars, global injustice to migrants, trafficking, homelessness, false/fake information and so much more. Yet in this midst of darkness, I continue to hope in the gifts of Christmas, which are joy, love and peace. We do this by putting on a nonviolence consciousness.

Burmese Cardinal Charles Maung Bo recently said, “Nonviolence is a spiritual principle that challenges the ‘spirituality’ and ‘idolatry’ of violence. Nonviolence is a way of life that ‘unlearns’ the beliefs and ways of violence and ‘learns’ and ‘practices’ our core identity as nonviolent beings. Nonviolence is a strategy for systemic change that mobilizes people power to dismantle policies but also systems of racism and all the forms of structural violence.”

Many migrant children carry the trauma of violence experienced on their journeys to reach Mexico. At the COESPO office, the Mexican agency helping migrants just south of the border in Ciudad Juárez, the children are given a space and a team to lead them in various activities, as their parents or relatives fill out the application form using the CBP One app to be able to cross the Paso del Norte bridge to the U.S.

Upon receiving the date for an interview to cross the bridge, they can then begin the process of filling forms for migrant status and for work permit.

The children are also given nutritious meals and clothing if needed. Often parents who have completed their application, wait for their children until they’re ready to leave from these activities. They too find joy in seeing their kids being kids with other children from all over Latin America. It’s my dream that we all get along like these children.

Students bringing turkeys during their Thanksgiving food drive

In the spirit of Christmas, two new shelters will open in El Paso for the foreseen influx of migrants before year’s end. Students from various schools are holding food drives and delivering the food to the shelters. The El Paso Giving Day Committee held its annual “Giving Day” to assist various organizations supporting migrants.

El Pasoans will share food, time and Christmas spirit to our weary sister and brother migrants, something done here naturally. Come and join us in this spirit of Christmas to spread joy, love and peace in this small part of the world for our migrant families. Come share your light and overcome this darkness.

I thank you for your partnership with us, your care and generous support. I pray and wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Much love,

Please consider supporting my mission work at the U.S.-Mexico border with a donation through the link below.

I invite you to walk with me as a “COMPANION IN MISSION.” Companions in Mission are friends and generous donors who give financial gifts on a regular (usually monthly) basis. For more information, visit Become a Companion in MissionThank you so much for your generosity! 


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?