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February 12, 2019 – Geronimo Trail

Migration 

The faith which sustains us, which makes mountains move,

waters divide and walls crumble,

empowers us to fly like eagles and tunnel the land like moles.

 

Driven by fear and hunger, but filled with flame,

we flocked ahead unwaveringly,

guided by stars and countless crosses planted along the way.

 

We knocked at your doors hoping for a welcome,

but we received a response which burnt our eyes and seared our lungs.

 

Still, until our last breath,

we shall pray to the heavens to fill your minds with clarity

and your hearts with compassion.

 

We shall stay and pray, and wait,

bearing in mind that our faith gives us the power

to soar like eagles and tunnel like moles.

 

With humility and serenity we shall remain at your doors.

And wait.                                                             by Eduardo Rahbe

 

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January 28, 2019 – Hwy. 191 MP 89

Today, we remembered a 15 year old migrant who died, far from his home in Baja California,  in an auto-mobile accident near Willcox.  What tempted ANDRES VIZCARRA SAMANIEGO to leave his friends and family and suffer hunger and thirst for days in the mountains of southern Arizona, only to end his life on a superhighway leading to his future full of hope?

The poem below, written by Wolfgang Paradox, speaks about the wall, that was responsible for the death of Andres, as a scar across the flesh of mother nature.

noise

It’s quiet in the desert.

It’s quiet, but not silent. Birds occasionally cry, tumbleweed brushes against the ground, the wind whistles through the plant life, moving particles of sand that scrape against worn jeans.
It’s not like that, here. It’s still the desert–but–its like it knows, like mother nature herself can feel the scar across her flesh, the ragged mess of steel and rust and hate.
It’s silent, like nowhere else is, oppressive, the only sound the licking of dry lips, the beat of a desperate heart, the whirring of a mind asking why, why, why?
A sudden burst of wind sends an unearthly howl through the metal slats. The desert knows this barrier should not exist, and cries out its mourning.
This wall, they call it. Too plain a word to describe its meaning, its affect.
And they want to build a bigger one.

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January 22, 2019 – Whetstone Mts.

Thirteen years ago a 17 yr old young man from Vera Cruz ended his life’s journey in the foothills of the Whetstone Mountains.  ABRAHAM GONZALEZ GAMBOA, from Veracruz, MX, was one more victim of the unjust immigration policy of our country.  All he wanted was a chance to find a job that paid a living wage and treated him humanely.  Is this asking too much?  Are we that closed and selfish a country that we cannot allow hardworking, dedicated people into our land, who in the past was the beacon of hope to all? 

Today we joyfully welcomed Brother David’s mother, Doris Buer, to our memorial prayer and also remembered Otto Buer, Brother David’s father, who died in June of last year after 67 years of marriage to Doris.   May Abraham and Otto rest in peace.

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January 16, 2019 – Naco, AZ

A prayer reflection for LETICIA VIVEROS TOBILLA written by Thalia, a Mills College student:

Grief is the closest emotion to love
The pain enlightens one to the extent of their love
Grief does not discriminate she appears in all lives on earth
Every loss is tragic, senseless loss creates a frustrating
and hollowing pain that cannot be described
The loss of a young person is unparalleled
I cannot fathom nor know the pain of loss of a child, a sibling, a cousin
Leticia’s family has been put through a loss that will forever leave them changed
I can though, understand the feeling of the  loss of a young person, a best friend
I wish I knew them, I could hug and cry with the dear friends we know Leticia held dear to her heart, and they held close to theirs
The agony of shattering glass in your heart every single day does not disappear, but we learn to recognize it as a representation of our love tearing away
from this physical earth
No one should die seeking life
No one should die wanting life
Grief is a universal feeling that connects us as human beings
Grief is love
I am grateful to be able to share that love for this young life lost in a beautiful gathering of love that she so deserves.

 

January 14, 2019 – Gleeson, AZ

“Let my cross be your reminder to never lose hope”.

This morning, thirty two people from diverse places of origin gathered on the land of Eduardo Rahbe, of Gleeson, Az., to plant a memorial cross to remember an unidentified gentleman who lost his life this past November, after he had crossed the treacherous Chiricahua Mountains.  We celebrated the life of this person, unknown to us, but known to God and his family, with praying, singing and dancing to the beat of drums and varied instruments.

We prayed with the psalmist in the name of our brother migrant, “Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach….If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast”.

Below is a poem for our lost migrant written by Eduardo Rahbe.  Take a moment to reflect on this message–you will be touched.

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December 21, 2018 – Mule Mountains

As you drive west into Bisbee, AZ, you will notice a white cross placed near a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  This shrine has stood watch for numerous years over the Mule Mountains and all who journey to far places and new lives.  Today, a beautifully decorated cross was added to this holy spot.  This cross marks where JUANA INES MENDEZ CRUZ lost her life as she walked her way to a hope filled new life, where her children and family would have a future full of unlimited opportunities.

This dream of JUANA INES was never realized and her journey ended in her death near the spot where we placed this memorial cross.  We prayed for Juana and for her family, especially her children, whose lives were forever altered because of the absence of their mother.

Today we were joined by three visiting Franciscan Friars and John and Karen Beasley, a couple from Mesa, AZ who heard about our memorial cross planting for migrants at the School of the Americas Watch in Nogales.

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December 13, 2018 – San Pedro River

Are we complicit in the death of APOLINAR ROSALES MENDEZ, age 32?  What part did we play in APOLINAR’S decision to leave his homeland and family and embark on a journey that left him dead in our desert?  Today, we remembered our brothers and sisters who “labor for pennies and still cannot feed their families”.   We pray that this scandal of injustice leads us to action to eliminate the wealth disparity in our world that forces people to risk their safety to provide a dignified life for their children.

Prayer for Migrants

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November 13, 2018 – West of Douglas, AZ

“O dark Madonna of the Americas, come again to bring us the roses of compassion, justice and peace.  In the midst of our winter, bestow your love on all those marginalized in these lands, and give us your gift to see dignity in the least of those among us.”

What a blessing to be accompanied today by the former classmates and friends of Sister Lucy and Ken for the memorial cross planting of FRANCISCO LUNA BELTRAN, age 44, who succumbed to the scorching heat of the Sonoran desert,  on or near July 6, 2018.

Today we remembered all who have lost their lives crossing the desert, searching for a more dignified life for their family, and those who continue to walk the journey, escaping violence and dehumanizing poverty.

 

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November 5, 2018 – San Pedro River, Hereford, AZ

Earlier this year, EDUARDO HERNANDEZ SILVA, age 42, crossed the border wall at the San Pedro River, near Hereford, AZ.    Eduardo walked along the river until his body and spirit gave way and he collapsed in a field near the bank of the river.  Maybe Eduardo left the river in order to look for a generous soul to offer him sustenance and support.   He failed in his search for a compassionate welcome and died, alone, along with his dreams of a better future for his family.

We were honored, today,  by the presence of Sister Sharon Kanis, SSND who journeyed from Baltimore, MD to the borderlands to pray with us for the thousands who have lost their lives in our desert, due to unjust policy toward these sojourning friends.

“May we seek partnerships that confront unjust structures and hardened hearts.  May we recommit ourselves to global community beyond all borders.  In human solidarity, and with a firm commitment to the pathways of compassion, may we pray and act unceasingly—for sanctuary for us all”.

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