Written by: Sister Marilyn Wilson, BVM
June 17, 2013
Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. nine Nuns on the Bus were warmly
welcomed at the Presentation Motherhouse by an energetic crowd of over 200. As
this was the last evening event before the final closing ceremonies the next
day, the focus was on the many break-a-bit-of-your-heart stories that each
sister experienced on the sacred pilgrimage across 6500 miles.
Beginning with the three sisters who had traveled the whole
way from Connecticut to San Francisco, (Simone Campbell SSS, Mary Ellen Lacey
DC, Elaine Betancourt CSJ) we heard with passion and tears the heart-rending
tales of suffering, resiliency, courage and hope of folks met on the way.
- The story from San Diego
about the border fence that stretches out into the ocean and separates
families and loved ones. But the ocean knows no boundaries.
- The story of the plight of
the Yaqui Indians whose reservation and life are torn apart by the fence
and who find in the desert the bodies of the many who have died, notably
one mother with her infant in her arms
- The story about the
solidarity with the many labor, political, and religious groups who gather
to speak out about Comprehensive Immigration Reform - NOW, in Modesto,
California at Representative Jeff Denham’s office.
- The story from Irvine,
California about the young woman, sitting crying on the sidewalk, whose boyfriend
is missing and most likely deported.
- The story of
Representative Gallegos who when his 8-year-old son in San Antonio, Texas,
greeted his dad just coming home from a trip. He recalled the birth of his
son, when Gallegos made a commitment to see his son clothed, housed, fed
and cared for even if it meant giving up his life. That realization
convinced him to change his thoughts on immigration.
- The story I heard from a
mother (wife of an undocumented field worker) at our visit to Modesto. But
I was privileged to hear the story “within” the story of her 10-year-old daughter
who lives with sadness and tears since half her classmates are no longer
at school, because of deportation of parent(s) or being sent to foster
homes. Her own description of her family unit as a box. If her Papa would
be taken away the box would become a triangle and if anyone else were
taken away the box would collapse. Yet she has hopes to become a nurse and
help others, perhaps a military nurse. She asks, “Who would take care of
her brother, now in the army, if he would be hurt?
Recalling these stories and realizing that Congress was
listening to arguments on some very harsh and devastating amendments to the
immigration bill that very day, Sr. Simone once again urged all to call out
strongly for CIR NOW using a tsunami of NETWORK postcards, text messages
877-877- NUNS, phone calls, and every-day conversations with friends, neighbors
How each story, though unique to the individual, repeated
over and over again in the lives of so many others during this Nuns on the Bus
pilgrimage, reminded all of us gathered at the Presentation Motherhouse of the
purpose and mission of Nuns on the Bus.
Let us together dance the chant: RAISE