Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ongoing Efforts at the Border

I received this email from Sr. Ida this morning that I wanted to share with you.  Patty

I don't know how interested you might be in the "intertwineing" of our CSJ communities, but some facts might be helpful.   From July 7, to August 15, I was "housemother" to the sisters who came to El Paso to help in the refugee/immigrant shelters there and in Las Cruces, N.M.  serving thousands of refugees sent to El Paso by ICE (Immigrant Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security).  Many sisters living in El Paso were already serving in the shelters since the national emergency began in early June.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, desiring to make a contribution to assist in the emergency,  offered their house as a residence for any sisters who could come and help for a period of time, long or short.  It is a ten bedroom house that the congregation was considering selling. In July the last sister of the community had moved out; nevertheless, a number of circumstances, including the need for the house in this national emergency helped the Concordias decide to keep the house.

As there was no one of the Concordias able to be in the house at this time, knowing that my familiarity with El Paso  and the house, Sr. Marcia Allen, president of the Concordias accepted my offer to care for the house and the hospitality services needed until someone could be found from that community.   Through the goodness of  our province, I was able to go to El Paso on July 7, rent a car (which was invaluable in many, many ways) and "housemother" this beautiful, centrally located house which the Concordias had so generously offered.

 During my time at the wonderful, well cared-for house of the Concordias, we were able to house IHMs from Scranton, Pennsylvania; Sacred Hearts from Athens, Georgia; an Adrian Dominican from Key West, Florida; Fred and Pat Malcolm from Albuquerque, New Mexico; Sinsinawa Dominicans from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Minneapolis, Minnesota, and CSJs from St. Louis.

 While I was in El Paso, phone calls were many and constant from those wanting to to know how they could be of help. Yesterday I received a call from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, wondering how they could offer a donation to assist with some of the expenses of caring for the refugees.  It was my joy to be able to direct their help to this effort which enables so many families and sisters and communities to respond to Jesus' call to  all of us to welcome the stranger.

If I can be of any help with further information, Patty, let me know.



P.S. Missy (Margaret Mary Ljungdahl) who was a long time resident at the house and is now working at the Concordia's center for long-term care, was able to be released for a bit of time. She doesn't know for how long.  She came last Monday night and I left Friday.  Marcia thinks they'll have someone temporary until January and then a community will come down.  I go back in a few weeks for an Annunciation House board meeting and will stay in the house for a few days again.