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Sisters of Mercy Leading Two Delegations to the Southern Border to Shine Light on Plight of Migrants

March 29, 2019

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas are leading two delegations in the next week to the U.S./Mexico border. The two contingents will be comprised of Sisters of Mercy–including representatives of both national and regional leadership–as well as staff from various ministries across the United States.

One group will travel to El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and will have the opportunity to visit programs and ministries providing crucial services for migrants, including Annunciation House, the Migration and Refugee Services of the Diocese of El Paso, the Border Network for Human Rights and the Hope Border Institute; there is also a meeting scheduled with an officer from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. While in Mexico the group will tour several ministries and organizations that offer services for migrants and advocate on their behalf.

The visit to El Paso comes at a time when already-poor conditions for migrants have been deteriorating further; the El Paso Times reports that hundreds of immigrants are being “housed” outdoors beneath the Paso del Norte International Bridge, the commissioner of the Customs and Border Patrol has made claims that the U.S. immigration system is “past the breaking point.”

The delegation visiting El Paso and Juarez will include two members of the Institute Leadership Team–Sister Pat Flynn, Vice President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and Sister Áine O’Connor–along with the entire leadership team of the West-Midwest Community, representing more than 500 Sisters of Mercy. The Columban Mission Center, operated by the Mission Society of St. Columban (the Columban Fathers) is the host and organizer of the border immersion experience in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.

A separate delegation will spend time in McAllen, Texas at ARISE, a comprehensive ministry serving women and their families in four immigrant communities (“colonias”) in South Texas. ARISE is a ministry co-sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time on the border as part of the Institute Leadership delegation,” said Sister Patricia Flynn, Vice President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. “The chance to be in the presence of those who are suffering at our borders and those who are serving them will deepen my understanding of and commitment to our Critical Concerns for immigration and challenge me to embrace action for change, wherever I am.”

The two border delegations are the most recent in a series of visits to the U.S./Mexico border sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy over the past several years to bring attention to the root causes driving migration from Central America, and the difficult conditions endured by migrants inside the United States.


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