CHICAGO — Days after Pope Francis issued his encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” calling for people of goodwill to care for one another as brothers and sisters and not to erect new borders between people and nations, Catholic Extension announced a 2,000-mile act of prayer along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Chicago-based Catholic Extension is partnering with the Kino Border Initiative, a ministry funded by Catholic Extension in the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona, to host and livestream “The March of the Children Seeking Asylum” Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. (Central Time) at http://www.catholicextension.org/children.
The two organizations are inviting the public to participate in virtually “joining hands and hearts” in prayer to show unity and support for asylum-seekers.
“As Catholics, we affirm the inherent human dignity of every person and the ability of migrants to seek security and safety for themselves and their families in the United States. Catholic Extension respects the right to seek asylum,” said Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kino Border Initiative and other asylum advocates have organized and livestreamed a series of events on the 21st of each month to support migrants affected by current policies blocking all asylum processing at the U.S.-Mexico border. This date was symbolically chosen because the current restrictions renew on the 21st of each month since the pandemic began.
Catholic Extension said in a news release it was honored to collaborate with the Kino Border Initiative “to raise awareness of the issue and the immediate need for a solution to advance humane, just and workable migration.”
Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Catholic Extension’s chancellor, along with Sister Norma Pimentel and several other members of Extension-supported parishes will virtually join hands along the 2,000-mile border wall to pray for all asylum-seekers.
Pimentel, a Missionary of Jesus and executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, is well-known for her work in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, with migrants along the U.S.-Mexican border,
Catholic Extension has been supporting the work and ministries of the nation’s mission dioceses since its founding in 1905. It raises funds to help build faith communities and churches in these dioceses, which are rural, cover a large geographic area, and have limited personnel and pastoral resources.