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Bridges, April 27, 2018

“CROSSING FRONTIERS – CONNECTING HUMANITY” WORKSHOP

I spent a very inspiring week, April 8 - 14, in San Antonio and McAllen, Texas participating in a worship, Cruzando Fronteras - Crossing Frontiers - Connecting Humanity.

The Popular Education Network of the RSCJ's (Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) in collaboration with ARISE (A Resource in Serving Equality) and MACC (Mexican American Catholic College) provided us with several speakers and experiences to deepen our knowledge of the current realities of migration, immigration and human trafficking across country borders throughout our world as well as within US state borders. Our very full days began at 8:30 AM (if you don't eat breakfast) and continued to about 8:30 PM when we arrived back at our base locations.

We began in San Antonio at MACC. The 'ice breaker', where we met one another in a circle and had to introduce our new acquaintance to the group, was a challenging experience as a few people knew only English. Some of us could share in English and Spanish to varying degrees, and some knew only Spanish.

As we shared we each took up a different colored ribbon which at the completion of our introductions formed a web connecting all of us. We certainly got a taste of how an immigrant feels upon entering a new environment, struggling with language barriers, being a minority yet in the end feeling our connectedness through this visible image of the colorful web we had formed in the process.

Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to meet Florence de la Villéon, RSCJ, from Rome, and Nilza González Pedraza, RJM, from Bolivia. Thanks be to God she was very patient with my Spanish. Although she is not involved with immigrants she is very much aware of the situations near the border with Chili and other existing problems...

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