Delano, CA - Prayer for the 40 Acres

Moment of Remembrance, Forty Acres in Delano, California

Written by: Sister Susan Maloney, SNJM

June 15, 2013

At Forty Acres, we Nuns on the Bus stopped to pray and honor all migrants who worked in this country. As we stood in the circle of prayer Sister Simone asked each Sister and NOTB friends who were present to share a Scripture passage. We spoke from our hearts for the need to honor all those who do the hard back-breaking work of bringing food to the tables of American families. We thanked God for the courageous women and men working for justice on behalf of immigrants.

Forty Acres served as the headquarters for the first permanent agricultural labor union in the United States, the United Farmworkers of America. Forty Acres holds extraordinary national significance for its close association with the career of Cesar Chavez, the farmworker movement, and a wide range of reform movements that helped define twentieth-century American history, and in particular, the Chicano Movement.

The UFW was established for the purpose of bringing about improved working conditions for migrant workers. The union’s members are responsible for the passage of the first law in the United States that recognized the collective bargaining rights of farmworkers, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975.

As we boarded the bus, we carried in our hearts all those who yearn for justice and work for the dignity of all immigrants.