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Blog: A Holy Week Reflection on our Immigration Lenten Promise

Apr 17, 2014 | By Sister Kayjoy Cooper, ACJ

Sister Kayjoy is one of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from the greater Philadelphia area. She has been participating in our campaign to "Make Immigration Reform Your Lenten Promise."  

 Holy Thursday, April 14, 2014

It is night time in Holy Week, 2014.  We are able safely to go out in the dark to the Services and then to go to bed peacefully at Saint Raphaela Center in Pennsylvania. No one will come banging on the door to frighten us and shouting, roughly grab any of our members. 

Dealing first hand with undocumented immigrants, I know that many families are never far from fear. In Florida, Jose, here twenty-one years, working and having taxes taken out of his pay,  told me his heart races whenever he sees a police car on the highway, even though it is nowhere near his vehicle. Juana told me that she doesn’t like her young daughters going to the factory to work in Georgia in case there is a raid and she never sees them again; but they need to work. They want to work. At the hard jobs, like her husband, one son, and an uncle do in the back kitchens of a restaurant chain.   

The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus coordinate a program of food and other material assistance to many hundreds of families; it takes attention to multiple details for its smooth running and proper accountability to donors. This program was temporarily disrupted by grief when an Hispanic family was torn apart by the capture and deportation of the father. Let’s call him Samuel.

 Viviana, let’s call her, his wife, into whose hands we had p