Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marlita Henseler updates family and friends regarding happenings at Kino Border Initiative. Nogales, Mexico.
I invite each of you to rejoice with one of our migrant families who has been granted special asylum status, and will eventually be residing near Los Angeles , CA in a Latino barrio, because they received the gift of a home to begin a new life in the United States. Those of you who have been reading my past letters may recall me telling you of a Mom and her family being “imprisoned” in their home for more than 20 years by a physically and mentally abusive husband. They escaped mid -2021 with the help of the oldest, a 21 yr. old son who had himself escaped at 12 yrs old. And they came to Kino mid- August, just a month before I came. I had the privilege of teaching them English in our shelter for 3 months. The two daughters were my star students. This is the family that will have a chance to start life anew, and thanks be to God, will be away from the further threats.
Sister Engracia, the gal with whom I live, and author of the book about true migrant lives, had been working with a gentleman she met casually for months. This man had immigration lawyer friends to help him seek out this case coming to the attention of the immigration dept. He also sought out other people to help this family, having been touched by their sad past. They are now in the USA, waiting for a court date, and hopefully will soon be in their new home. I am sending a photo of Mom and her two girls, and although the masks cover their mouths, they were smiling from ear to ear the morning this week that we all said ADIOS!!! So thank God with me, please. It gives us hope about President Biden’s recent promise to allow 25,000 asylum cases to begin happening. That will be issued and scattered throughout the US borders. We do not know where.
I joined two other volunteers, Jerri and Julie, from OR and WA this past week to visit the tomb of Padre Kino. We traveled about 1 1/4 hrs South to Magdalena de Kino, a “Pueblo Magico”, it was described as on the Internet. We had a delightfully lovely visit. The day was sunny and spring-like, and we were outside most of our day there, except for a 15 minute visit to Magdalena church right next to the tomb site. We prayed there for all of our own private intentions; I included especially each of you and your needs. Peace in Ukraine was also on my mind. The Pueblo is bright and clean, and we were impressed by what we experienced. After visiting in and around the plaza of the tomb(there was also a St. Francis of Assisi chapel next to the church), we had lunch at an outdoor cafe, stopped for an ice cream cone, and walked around the main plaza near the tomb, too for an hour. We rounded off our visit with a stop in a local bakery to take home Mexican baked treats for our families.
We are enjoying spring warmth here, and all the winter bedding and heavy coats/sweaters have been packed. Sure is lovely to not be so bundled up.
I hear some spring-like weather has also come to the Midwest. Great…enjoy. Sending lots of love and care, along with my prayers,