San Fran friendraiser

Presentation Motherhouse - San Francisco, CA

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 and others.

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, reminde