Blogs Blogs

A Stop In McAllen

Last year I learned that part of the experience in postulancy would be an extended ministry experience outside of New York. This excited me, as I enjoy traveling and spending time in new places. When I heard that the experience would be in McAllen, Texas, I was even more excited!

The Christmas season didn't make me forget that this experience was on the horizon, but it sort of got blurred a bit. Pushed into the back of my mind. As Christmas Day arrived, I began to feel anxious to get down to Texas.

Brother Dave, Brother Peter, Tomas, and I have formed a community here in McAllen. Our ministry for the week is located at Sacred Heart Church in Downtown McAllen on 15th and Dallas Avenue. This is where a refugee center has been set up for migrants crossing the border into the United States.

No matter how much I have read about the refugee crisis in parts of our world and no matter how much I have seen on the news, nothing compares to working with migrants face to face. Many have shared stories about their travels by foot, bus, and getting rides from helpful people along the way. Most are coming from countries in Central America, but I have met people traveling from as far as Brazil and Venezuela.

A couple of days ago, I was hesitant to talk to a group of young men and ask them about their experiences traveling to the US. While speaking with them, their eyes seemed to light up and they told their stories with great emotion. They were, in this moment, happy. Someone was interested in their story, someone was with them, and someone cared. It was a conversion moment, as I truly would have rather been doing something "functional" like serving food or folding clothes in that moment. There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastics 3).

For the women, men, and children that come to the center, it is a stop in McAllen. Their immediate needs are met, and they quickly move on via bus and sometimes plane to their next destination. There will probably be a bunch of stories and small anecdotes to share. We will all be here until the very end of the month. I will share what comes up as frequently as I can here on this blog.

Until next time,

Add Comment
Dan O'Riordan
Thanks Luis....prayers for you guys during this mission experience
Posted on 1/17/17 12:58 PM.