Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marlita Henseler shares on recent happenings at Kino Initiative, Nogales, Mexico.

Happy Springtime, officially, and I hope that  all of you are doing well. Here the cold mornings have disappeared, and days beginning at 45-50 are getting up to 80-85 for daytime highs. I know that we are nearer the equator when I sit out in the sunshine on my free day, and last only 15 minutes, instead of an hour during winter. The sun is intense, and could quickly burn. I take to the shade  then, and still enjoy the fresh air all the same.

This past week we had the Immigrant March to end Title 42, which closed the border  during Trump’s time to any consideration for asylum cases.

The immigrants themselves organized the March, got the word out, and invited all who wished to participate. Being Lent, they wrote reflections and prayers for each of the 14 Stations of the Cross, and we stopped 7 different times during the march  to pray them in units of two. A large cross, made by Kino’s maintenance man, was carried  in the March by various participants. The  prayers were beautifully written, and lots of thought and time went into each one. A pickup truck lead the March with speakers on, so that all could hear the reflections and prayers easily. Around 250 persons participated, and we walked from Kino to a downtown park,about 3 miles from us, where the other border crossing is situated. The folks carried banners and posters that they had made, to carry the message to all who passed by.

Different people participated in reading the reflections and prayers along the way. And I had the privilege of reading for the 9th station, and then was also able to help carry the cross for 3-4 blocks. One of the women had the front end, and I had the lower. It was very meaningful, as I felt at one with the plight of the immigrants, seeking a safe refuge to live their lives in peace. It is such a basic need, but few of us  in the US live each day as they do, fearful for their lives in the places where they lived. So much violence and corruption pushes them out of their homes, and on the road to seek refuge. As I have said before, some of the stories we hear on a daily basis are heart-rending,almost unbelievable, but very real for those who go through them. So we pray for an end to Title 42 with consideration for families to apply for asylum.

I will include photos of the March and simply ask your prayers for our lawmakers to open the opportunity to those who seek refuge. God bless each of you and thanks for your support and prayers for those I minister to here.