US Bishops Release Coverage of Border Visit
The following was attached to a memo sent July 11, 2018, to all US bishops from USCCB Chief Communications Officer James L. Rogers and Catholic News Service Director Greg Erlandson.
Bishops Make Pastoral Visit to the Border
At the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation of bishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to an HHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. We are sharing the following articles, photos and videos as a special Catholic News Service Issue Alert. This complimentary CNS multimedia news package is being offered to all diocesan digital and print media – whether or not they are subscribers to CNS – for use on their websites and social media and in their print publications. Already in 2018, CNS has published 160 articles, as well as videos and photos, about immigration issues and about the Church’s role in addressing this crisis and searching for solutions.
Background and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
At an opening Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”