Volunteers from Brake the Cycle of Poverty roll into the parking area of Foodshare in Bloomfield on June 28. From left are Pam Carmel, Bob King, John Fortunato, Lou Terzo and Charlie Chatterton. The closing rally at the food pantry capped a six-day tour through Connecticut by about 20 cyclists to raise awareness of poverty. Father Stephen Sledesky, Pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Manchester, is a longtime rider with Brake the Cycle. The group’s first ride was to Washington, D.C., in 2003. (Photo by Jack Sheedy)
At the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip.
At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”