The intentions of Pope Francis for the month of July:
Universal: That sports may always be occasions for fraternity and growth.
For Evangelization: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest of countries.
Dear Parishioners of OLM & OLS:
Two weekends ago, I had the joy of spending time in Maryland with colleagues from around the country. We used to collaborate together in a project that trained priests and pastoral leaders assuming administrative positions in Parishes.
One of my colleagues still works as a consultant for the Diocese of Las Cruses in New Mexico. This diocese, following the advocacy of Pope Francis is actively assisting refugee children coming from Mexico.
You may be asking, why I am putting this out before you? The answer comes within the teaching of our Holy Father.
A news release from the Vatican contains the following. “Pope Francis has urged protection for unaccompanied children migrating daily from Central America in the United States, in a message directed at Mexico but with clear implications for debates over immigration policy in America.
‘Such a humanitarian emergency demands as a first urgent measure that these minors be protected and duly taken in,’ the pope said.
Pope Francis sent his message through French Archbishop Christopher Pierre, the Vatican’s ambassador to Mexico. Dated July11, it urged the international community to ‘adopt new immigration measures that are legal and safe.’
The pontiff noted the particular dangers children from Central America and Mexico face when traveling alone.
‘They cross the border under extreme conditions,’ Pope Francis said, ‘in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain.’
This is not the first time Pope Francis has addressed the immigration issue. His first pastoral trip was to the Italian island of Lampdusa, laying a wreath in the sea to commemorate the 20,000 people believed to have perished attempting to make the crossing from North Africa to Europe.
‘We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion‘’ ‘suffering with’ others,’ the pope said on that outing.
‘The globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep,’ he said.
Francis’ example at Lampedusa inspired American Catholic bishops to make a similar trip to the border between the US and Mexico on April 1. Led by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the bishops celebrated a Mass at the security barrier separating the two countries and administered Communion to people on the Mexican side through slats in the fence.
In March, when President Obama visited the pontiff in Rome, both Vatican and the White House said the two leaders discussed the urgency of immigration reform.
The message from Pope Francis comes as US officials struggle to deal with a rising number of unaccompanied minors from Central America apprehended by agents at the US-Mexico border. According to the US Customs and Border Protection, more than 52,000 have been processed since October.
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of Caritas Internationalis, the church’s global charity, as well as the coordinator of a council of cardinals advising Pope Francis, has stated: “In the Western Hemisphere the Church’s role as a defender of migrants and refugees is more important than ever.’
Maradiaga pointed out that migration fleeing violence and persecution is on the increase, particularly from Central America. While the Italian Navy is dredging up bodies from the Mediterranean and thousands are dying in the sands of the desert between Mexico and the US and in the Sahara, many people are burying their heads in the sand.”
You can be a person who holds his or her head high – out of the sand. The Diocese of Las Cruces needs help in caring for the immigrant children from Mexico. Rather than centering our parishes as collection stations, I invite you to take an active, conscious posture in assisting this diocese’s outreach. I invite you to join in Project Oak Tree directly YOURSELF.
Project Oak Tree: ”The project name recounts the hospitality Abraham showed the three strangers under the oak trees at Mamre Genesis 18:2-4
The refugees arrive by bus and stay for one or two nights. They are given help to contact their sponsors in the US who send them travel money to be united with them. The cathedral staff has set up an office with computers for the refugees to work in and a clinic to take care of medical needs. Volunteers from the diocese are working day and night. This project is expected to last about 6 weeks.
What is needed:
They need monetary contributions for meals, toiletries, toys, coloring books, etc. At the government camps they received only bologna sandwiches. In Las Cruces they are able to have a hot meal.
Checks should be sent to the Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces. In the memo field, please indicate Project Oak Tree.
The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces
Project Oak Tree
1280 Med Park Drive • Las Cruces, NM 88005
My love and my prayers,
Jubilee Update: “Moving Ahead in Ministry: Embracing The Journey!”
Part of “Embracing the Journey” is getting on your feet and getting energized. Our Dance Meisters: Ofie and Sev Baal are exercising their Stewardship of Time and Talent to get us ready to DANCE, DANCE, DANCE our way to and through our Jubilee.
Their invitation is this:
“The Lord has turned my sadness into dancing!
God has given us dancing for many benefits, especially JOY.
CLELBRATE LIFE & DANCE WITH YOU!
COME AND JOIN THE FUN
BEGINNING AUGUST 5TH, TUESDAYS @7:30PM IN THE MARIA ROOM
$5 PER PERSON FOR 1.5 HOUR SESSIONS
For students new to dancing, this program will allow you to experience how quickly you will learn to dance. In preparation for our jubilee year festivities, we offer refresher courses for 50’s dance steps like waltz, boogie, cha cha, swing, rumba, etc. We also offer a beginner’s course for those who have not heard of these dance steps before. In addition, we offer some time for a few line dance steps. Something for everyone!
Register: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 210 332 2965 or 201 332 2237.