Church near border plans welcome statue to immigrants

Church near border plans welcome statue to immigrants

Church near border plans welcome statue to immigrants

Part of a group of 16 Jesuit priests and staff from the Jesuits West province pray June 7 at the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Tijuana, Mexico. In addition to the fence, the group visited several migrant shelters and a Jesuit-run university to learn about immigration issues first hand. (Credit: CNS.)

A California Catholic church near the U.S.-Mexico border is planning to erect a hilltop welcome statue to send a message of hope to immigrants.

SAN DIEGO — A California Catholic church near the U.S.-Mexico border is planning to erect a hilltop welcome statue to send a message of hope to immigrants.

The Los Angeles Times reports Saturday that a 40-foot-tall (12-meter-tall) monument of Mary, mother of Jesus, that was inspired by the Statue of Liberty is planned for the parking lot of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in San Ysidro.

The statue will be named “Welcome the Stranger.” Supporters are trying to raise $1 million to build it by early next year.

Bishop Robert McElroy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego says the monument will serve as a reminder of immigrants’ contributions to the United States.

Artist Jim Bliesner says he drew inspiration for the design from community members.

 

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