As Peter Chanel, the pro-martyr of Oceania was dying he said "Death is good for me" and this week on the Southern border, in this parish begun by the Marists in 1996 we will hear a similar refrain on this our patronal feast, from the young Felipe de Jesus, our patron
"The night is slipping by so quickly. Tomorrow I will die executed on the cross, but I am not afraid."
Here in the Rio Grande Valley the border "line in the sand" has long since traveled north. This is not Mexico now but the United States, or better seemingly a separate corridor between the two.
Life has always been different in the "Valley", in this Marist Parish too. In the first
That initial push has changed but not gone. Father Colin's refrain "The Law was made by Man. If I can't save with the law I will try to save without it." (A Founder Speaks 163,2 (12)) has always been and continues to be the dynamic here as people seek us out where they feel doors have been closed elsewhere by church rules. We are like a "Spiritual Flea Market' where like any flea market everything is open-ended and there is always some possibility of service, solutions
But recent events on the border together with the San Felipe de Jesus parish's' openness to the stranger has also seen us assisting and receiving hundreds of Central American minors every day except Saturday. They come from in total, five refuge centers for a little bit of prayer, some non-institutional food
Besides and what with Asylum seekers on the Mexican side of the bridges. who against international and US law are prohibited from entering the USA, we have some brave, passionate and generous women who cross the border with food, clothing, blankets
These valiant women also take and share with various small poor villages along the river on the Mexican side on the road to Reynoso y Monterey. They are known and respected by the gang people who control this highway.
As a parish we have no arguments There are no fights here. We are all in it together. The kids are enthusiasts, the youth a quiet force and the community, many of whom are migrants,
Tony O'Connor SM
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It is so good for Tony's work to mentioned on this blog. It is truly Marist. Hang in there, Tony! Ron Nissen
Right in the thick of it! Great work.
Great to read of such good work being done