This past weekend I gathered with 11 other bishops of the Mexico, Texas and New Mexicoborder region to pray, reflect and work together on issues impacting this unique place. Pleasefind here the statement that was issued at the conclusion of our meeting.
+Bishop Mark J. Seitz
Message from the Bishops of the border regions of Mexico, Texas and New Mexico to Catholics and to men and women of good will
“I have seen the affliction of my people” (Ex. 3, 7).
The Bishops from the border regions of Mexico, Texas and New Mexico greet all of you, wishing you peace and every good thing in the Lord Jesus.
Gathered together in our second assembly of the current year, we have shared our preoccupation over the situation affecting millions of undocumented persons who migrate to the United States. In particular we are deeply concerned about the burden affecting so many families who have found themselves divided because of the lack of a suitable and Comprehensive Immigration Reform. At present, those most injured are the thousands of children and young people who find themselves deprived of their parents and other family members.
We seek to view the reality of the migration phenomenon from the divine perspective. Just as God had compassion for his people enslaved in Egypt, so now he is moved, and he calls us to compassion and mercy towards our undocumented brothers and sisters. Further, Jesus the Good Shepherd felt compassion upon seeing the exhausted multitudes ( cf Mt 14,14). As their current shepherds we want to make our hearts beat in rhythm with theirs.
We are at a moment in which the leadership of the United States is taking up the issue of Immigration Reform as one of its priorities. As shepherds we wish to contribute to this moment of reflection and action with a letter we are currently preparing, so that we might present it at an opportune time; we will entitle this forthcoming document “Family Beyond Borders”.
Immigrants make of their journey a true pilgrimage of faith and hope, and thus they inspire us all, including us their shepherds. This is why at this time we want to encourage their hope, and the hopes of all of us who see in them the face of Christ. We want to contribute with our prayer, and with the action that each one can offer, to achieve all that might be possible in favor of our brothers and sisters.
With utmost respect we direct ourselves to those who are responsible for the enactment of an Immigration Reform in the United States, so that they might put all their determined energy into this effort, conscious of the human dignity of each immigrant, and conscious of what they contribute to the progress and development of this country.
Asking the Lord that all families might remain united, we wish to commit ourselves and invite all of you to take up this same commitment to work in favor of the family, an institution willed by God as the foundation of society.
We entrust this task that belongs to everyone, to the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and to Saint Toribio Romo, patron of immigrants.
September, 8, 2013
El Paso, Texas, USA