Franciscan Sister Encourages Voices of the Border Read

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

March 13, 2022

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marlita Henseler volunteering at Kino Institute, Nogales, Mexico, writes about the book ‘Voices of the Border’ edited by Sr. Ma.Engracia Robles and Tobin Hansen.  She also updates us on her life in this relatively new diocese. Pope Francis erected the  diocese in northern Mexico in 2015, located along the border of Arizona. The pope appointed Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez, 60, to head the new diocese. He had been auxiliary bishop of the Guadalajara archdiocese.

Here we are at the end of another month, and Lent just around the corner. May the days of the season be filled with opportunities for each of you to pray and sacrifice for the good of others. Let us pray together for PEACE in Ukraine again and for those there who suffer directly from the bombings, etc.

Would you believe we had a little snow here last week? Yes, it had been a very cold week and Wednesday eve it began to rain, and then sometime in the very early morning,the rain turned to icy snow. There was no not much of it, and it disappeared as soon as the sun rose Thursday, but folks here talked about it as a once-in-winter happening. Maybe now spring can be on its way faster and the days will warm up. I know I will wish the cooler days back once May/June comes.

We now have an international English class in our shelter. With the influx of a few more families, there are 2 from El Salvador, 3 from Guatamala, 2 from Peru, and 1 from both Ecuador and Mexico. It makes for an interesting exchange very often when we talk about customs and foods. It keeps us on our toes and helps keep the class challenging and lively. I continue to enjoy using the whiteboard gift daily…A wonderful help for the teacher.

I did begin another English class on Monday afternoons, 1:00- 2:30 pm. A group of 7 came last week, and I expect them to return today, and maybe a few more,too?!? Again they are highly motivated to learn some practical English they can use, and they participate willingly with interest. They are all ages,too, older couples, youth in 20’s; that also makes for classes that are varied and active. I still help in the kitchen a few hours in early AM’s with food prep,and then serving the migrants who come for food for the day.

Book sales are booming!! Getting signs/posters out for people to know about the book has been a big help. Sr. Engracia is pleased that a few more are being educated about the plight of the migrants. A friend who borrowed the book from a library said the heart-wrenching stories brought a whole new awareness to him about persons seeking refuge from the hardships and violence in their own countries. Very true! If anyone wishes to purchase one, let me know. They are $30.00. I am not sure what Amazon sells them for.

Do have a blessed Lenten season, and please remember the migrants in your prayerful moments. Another March is being planned here by a group of migrants, to help keep attention on the need for opening asylum again. Some day hopefully that decision will be made. Not all receive who ask, but consideration for some of the extreme cases should at least be listened to.

AMEN!!!  Take good care and many blessings to you and your families.


Article Comments:

Sister Carla Riach 03/13/2022 @ 1:18 pm

Sister Marlita, I love hearing about your new adventure volunteering at Kino Border Institute. The book is so powerful. It tells the heart-wrenching stories of migrants, the reasons they leave their homes, the struggle to reach the U.S. the way they are treated by law enforcement and drug cartels. I can’t imagine the horror they experience. Yet so many stories tell of their faith and hope that keeps them on the move. I’m so glad you can represent our community ministering to them. God bless you.


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