For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Father Franciscus Asisi Eka Yuantoro was welcomed earlier this month into a government facility for unaccompanied minors in Donna, Texas, to celebrate Mass, which he called a “blessing.”
While on the campaign trail in Miami this past October, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden promised to never quit on the Haitian American community. But now, many Haitian immigrants are confused and anxious, wondering if deportation is imminent.
When the priest of the lone Catholic parish in the U.S.-Mexico border city of Donna, Texas, considers the present situation at the border, his first concern is for the unaccompanied minors trying to gain entry to the United States. Father Yuantoro presides over St. Joseph Catholic Church, which serves about 3,000 Catholic families — part of a total population of around 16,500 — in the south Texas city.
This Lenten season, parishioners can make a difference through two upcoming monetary collections that will assist people and places worldwide and here at home.
On Sept. 27, Pope Francis marked the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, asking the world to pray for those forced to flee their homes at the close of a deadly week in which around 200 migrants seeking entry into Europe drowned in the Mediterranean.
Since 2014, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have died while trying to reach Europe from Africa, while thousands of others have been forcibly returned to Libya, which has received funding from the EU to train its coastguard to try and stop the crossings.
Decrying the unimaginable “hell” migrants experience in detention centers, Pope Francis urged all Christians to examine how they do or don’t help — as Jesus commanded — the people God has placed in their path.
Catholic leaders across the globe are pleading that migrants and refugees not be forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic, insisting that it’s a public health issue affecting everyone – regardless of one’s legal status.
The pontiff walked his own talk by having his “charitable right arm,” Polish Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, bring 33 migrants from Afghanistan, Cameroon and Togo who had been stranded on the Greek island of Lesbos, back to Rome under Vatican patronage.
On September 26, the Trump administration announced that it would be cutting back on the number of refugees the nation will be accepting, limiting victims of war and persecution from seeking protection in the U.S..