The desire to host community conversations about radical welcome across the US is rooted in the on-the-ground reality people are living at the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, México, and what our brother Jesus tells us: that our own salvation is tied up in how we treat those we have pushed to the margins of society. At this moment when many are tempted to use images or words like “invasion” or “alien” to dehumanize and push away people traveling to the US to seek a better life for their families, we are called to move in closer. We are called to humanize: to listen with our hearts, to let ourselves be changed by people who are both different from and similar to us. We are called to open our minds, our homes and our communities in the same way God is open to the beauty of our diversity, our gifts and our limitations.
Nearly twenty years after the Conferences of Mexican and US Catholic Bishops came together to publish the letter, “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope,” we continue to respond to their invitation “to exercise [our] faith and to use [our] resources and gifts to truly welcome the stranger among us,” so that families arriving in the US from a variety of circumstances experience that they are “strangers no longer and instead members of God’s household.”
We are inspired by Roman Catholic teaching on the “seamless garment of life” as first outlined by Cardinal Bernadin in the 1980’s, a teaching which calls us to recognize the sacredness of all life and to oppose attacks on the dignity of life, wherever they appear. A consistent ethic of life calls us to respond when people are murdered or tortured by organized crime groups in northern Mexico; when pregnant mothers waylaid at the border don’t have access to needed healthcare; when US officials expel or deport families back to danger or starvation.
We hope that in gathering together, we can
- Share honestly about our own experiences of welcome and exclusion, and the impact that this has on each of us individually and as a community.
- Learn about what motivates people to migrate to the US-Mexico border today.
- Reflect on what it means to #WelcomeLikeJesus, and imagine how we can do this together in our community in a way that moves us beyond our comfort zones.
Are you ready to #WelcomeLikeJesus?
If you missed any of our two virtual training sessions with Sr. Tracey Horan, SP on Sept. 13 or 14, please join us on October 5th from 5:00-7:00pm PT for an open training session.
This would be an opportunity for folks who want to invite others into the conversation who are not necessarily immigration advocates, but don’t have the infrastructure to host your own conversation (or want to see what one looks like).
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
- Community Conversations: How to #Welcome Like Jesus Facilitator’s Guide
- #WLJ Community Convo Facilitator Training Sept 2022 Powerpoint
- Zoom Recording of Community Conversations: How to #WelcomeLikeJesus facilitator’s training
- Video: A Honduran Father’s story: “I never thought about leaving my home.”
- Video: A Mexican Mother’s Story: “That was how it all started.”
- Video: A Honduran Father’s Story: “That’s what it’s about – saving your loved ones, however you can.”
- Video: Title 42: Policy Context – Obstacles to Welcome
- Video: Faith & Community Leaders: How to #WelcomeLikeJesus
Please keep us in the loop about your plans! Here are some touch points to follow up:
- Tuesday, October 11, 5-6:30PM PT we will host a follow-up accountability call for folks to share their plans, swap ideas, come with questions or just check in about your next steps. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us!
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