Bi national Mass for migrants held Saturday

OJINGAGA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO – More than 300 persons attended the bi-national Mass in honor of migrants held Saturday in Ojinaga.

For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. National Migration Week was celebrated January 7–13.

The theme for National Migration Week, “Many Journeys, One Family,” draws attention to the fact that each of our families have a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. Regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family and are called to live in solidarity with one another.

“Unfortunately, in our contemporary culture, we often fail to encounter migrants as persons, and instead look at them as unknown others,” according to the website, “if we even notice them at all. We do not take the time to engage migrants in a meaningful way, as fellow children of God, but remain aloof to their presence and suspicious or fearful of them. During this National Migration Week, let us all take the opportunity to engage migrants as community members, neighbors, and friends.”

Catholic parishioners in Presidio and Ojinaga closed migrant week by celebrating a binational Mass, with the intention to pray for migrants.

Bishop Mark J. Seitz of the El Paso Diocese attended the celebration as well as the Vicar General from Chihuahua City, the assistant to Chihuahua’s Bishop.

In Presidio, Santa Teresa de Jesus Church parishioners held a procession from the church to the international bridge. The procession was led by Bishop Seitz, Parish priest Fr. Mike Alcuino and former parish priest Fabian Marquez.

Everyone recited the Rosary as they walked to the bridge. At the international line, they were met by the Ojinaga faithful and a prayer for migrants was said by all.

The procession continued into Ojinaga where the Mass was held near the International bridge, at the old Mexican aduana.

Father Armando Sanchez from Parroquia de Nuestro, Padre Jesus Nazareno, and six other Ojinaga priests participated in the Mass.

Also attending the event were the Alpine Knights of Columbus.