Letter for Sunday, March 18, Fifth Sunday of Lent
A Journey of the Heart
This weekend, two leaders from our Reverence for Life group will join with leaders from Reverence for Life groups from Jesuit parishes of the South and the Midwest to make a five-day “journey of the heart” into the lives of immigrants in the borderland of El Paso /Juarez. I will participate as one of the group facilitators. This workshop is coordinated by the social ministries office of the United States Central and Southern province, involving Life group leaders from St Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Albuquerque, San Antonio, El Paso, New Orleans, and Grand Coteau.
The activities will include celebrating two Masses in one of the largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in El Paso, where Jesuit Father Rafael Garcia is chaplain, visiting a refugee center called Annunciation House, spending a full day in Juárez, Mexico to listen to the stories of people on the other side of the border, and even visiting and speaking with officers from the Border Patrol, to better understand the challenges they face.
The group will consist of about 15 people, and will center its activities at Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, the parish where I was stationed between 2007 and 2013. Each evening the group will gather for prayer and reflection on the day’s activities—the lights and shadows—the joys and sorrows of the day.
All the while, we hope to form a bond among all the leaders of the various life groups from these Jesuit parishes so that we can support one another in our struggle to be a “voice for the voiceless” and in our effort to find more effective ways to address the challenges we together face in our promotion of the sanctity of all life.
As we set out on our journey, we ask for your prayers and support.
With love from your pastor,
Fr. Edwin Gros, SJ