Saturday, October 26, 2013

An Invitation to Celebrate All Souls Day on U.S.-Mexico Border

Picture from Teyepac Institute.  (See more pictures)
We celebrate our diversity, but we also especially celebrate our unity around the common table of communion, the table of the Lord who makes us all brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the same father in heaven. We are one body of Christ, one People of God, one Temple of the Spirit even though divided but a human made, arbitrary fence that often tramples on our human rights and disrespects our humanity. -Diocese of El Paso
Since 1999, the Bishops of El Paso, Las Cruces, and Ciudad Juárez  have come together on November 2nd, All Souls Day or more popularly known as “Dia de los Muertos”, to celebrate a Mass right on the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico. This year again on November 2, 2013, the bishops (Renato Ascencio León of Juárez, ‎Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, and Mark Seitz of El Paso) together with a multitude of about 300 faithful in each side will gather at 1:00 p.m. along the fence dividing Puerto Anapra near Juárez and community of Sunland Park, New Mexico, just outside El Paso.

“We have come to share our common dream,” former Las Cruces Bishop Ricardo Ramírez said in his sermon at the 2010 Mass. “Our common dream is the reign of God. The reign of God is the dream of God for the world, a new world of justice, love and peace.”

“But what do we see?,” Bishop Ramírez asked. “An ugly fence! We can’t even embrace in friendship and love because of this fence. Our dream is that one day there will be no fence and we will embrace in friendship and love. What else do we see? We see two tables. We cannot physically take the same bread and cup. Our dream is that one day we will share together the same bread and cup.”  Read article by Father John Dear, S.J., in National Catholic Reporter.

Poster for 2011 Mass
Remembering Deceased Migrants 
This Mass is directly connected with the hundreds of annual deaths of people in migration trying to cross the border in search of a better life for themselves and their family.

Each year, since early 90’s an average 400 to 500 individuals perish in the harsh areas they have been forced to cross trying to escape border patrol and apprehension. This is so due to the increase of immigration enforcement policies only approach to addressing immigration at the border and our broken national immigration laws. Operation Gatekeeper, Operation Hold the line, Operation Safeguard, etc consequences are the thousands of migrants – men, women, youth, and children – who have died in the most dangerous areas of deserts and rivers along the border, away from urban centers where they used to cross before these initiatives.

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