Sr. Darlene Pienschke, SDS, Desert Mission Ministry, Tucson, AZ

We Must Open Our Hearts

By Sister Darlene Pienschke, SDS

Over 70 million people around the world are forced to become immigrants today due to poverty, the effects of global warming which destroyed their country’s economics, and violence.

Recently, I read about Pope Francis’ deep concern for these millions of migrants. Last Fall, moved with deep sensitivity to their plight, Pope Francis unveiled a life-sized sculpture of Migrants and Refugees in St. Peter’s Square to remind us that we must open our hearts to the misery of so many immigrants.

Here at Casa Alitas, in spite of the current administration’s orders for the US Border to remain “sealed”, we continue to remain open day and night to welcome, process, and care for small numbers of Asylum Seekers (6-10) who arrive by unknown ways and means.

It is after much rest and their two-week quarantine, following the COVID-19 guidelines, that the administration at Casa Alitas has agreed to fly immigrants to their sponsors to avoid possible contagion of the virus if they were to travel by bus.

For right now, all who work at Casa Alitas keep in touch, or are involved in the activity at Casa Alitas, through visits or daily information posted for us via computer.

A former immigrant wrote this message to all who welcomed them at Casa Alitas.

“Casa Alitas is probably the best on this entire planet. What you do for people with sincerity, love and mercy, and open souls and hearts, is wonderful. I remember this with tears of happiness. Thank God that your organization and staff do all this for us who experienced so much grief. You give us hope and help to start living again. I was on the verge of collapse and it seemed that life was over.  I lost my faith…there was no way out! But as soon as we came to you, we realized that there is goodness, and life on earth is beautiful! We gained our faith again! Thank you all very much. God bless your organization and the people who do all this. God bless you!”

Casa Alitas is confirmation that all the love shown is received by those for whom it is intended, and that lives are changed. What a blessing for all of us involved. Thank you, Sisters, for allowing me to minister with migrants.

Salvatorian Sentiments

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