Greetings, all! This past week has been busy — not only with work but with so many great events taking place at school!
Hispanic Heritage Month is a tradition at SXU, and it has been a blast! One of my favorite events is having a bilingual mass. Growing up, my father, who is a native Spanish speaker, and mom always tried to find a church community that offered both languages. So when our chapel offered a bilingual mass, it was a little piece of home to me!
On Wednesday, noon classes were cancelled so students could take part in Mercy Day and attend mass. Mercy Day focuses on Saint Xavier’s history and its founding by the Sisters of Mercy and what they went through to provide an education for children and women as well as their move to the States from Dublin, Ireland.
This week, Mercy Students for Peace and Justice (MSPJ) held our first meeting. I love how MSPJ works to involve not only our school but also our surrounding community. We focus on answering the call of our fundamental human concern for others by following the example of our Mercy tradition. At its most basic level, MSPJ draws inspiration from our collective human desire to alleviate the suffering of our fellow human beings. They empathize with other people and long to relieve their suffering. MSPJ strives to encourage and nurture that concern for others and channel it into contemplation and action so that we may better ourselves, our families, our community and our world.
On Friday morning, I woke up early at 4:15 a.m. because I led the Broadview trips. We make the trip to stand in solidarity with the families who are being broken apart because of the immigration system. To me, being in Broadview and leading it is a huge honor because my father is a immigrant and anyone in my family could easily be those who are being deported. The trip itself is about 45 minutes, once we are there, we pray for the families in both Spanish and English. Seeing all the small children who had to say goodbye to their parents was heart breaking.
For those of you who don’t know, here’s some facts about immigration:
- It costs $40,000 of taxpayer money to deport just one person.
- The government deports people every Friday and Saturday morning at Broadview Detention Center. Those who are held in Broadview wear chains on their feet, hands and neck linking them to each other, and are treated like murderers when most of them have come here for a new beginning.
- One-thousand one-hundred people in America are deported every day; while 100,000 children have lost at least one parent to deportation in the last 10 years.
- Four-hundred thousand undocumented immigrants were detained and deported from the U.S. in 2011 alone.
- There are more than 400,000 undocumented immigrants in the detention centers in the U.S. at all times. This is a broken system. The buses that take people away have someone’s father and mother on board. They are people who belong to our family.
If you are looking for more information, check out these websites:
- http://www.sistersofmercy.org/ – click on “How We Serve Justice Immigration/Migration.”
I really could not be more proud to attend a school with so much focus on helping all humans, including immigrants. Being able to learn from the Sisters of Mercy and see how they serve so many is inspiring. And I truly feel so honored to be a part of the trips, especially when this trip had so many new people who were attending for the first time — even more so that every seat was full!
Later that Friday, I was able to make my first visit for PALS for change. This was something that was completely new to me, but that I wanted to try it, and it amazed me how great it was! I never had the opportunity to work with those who have physical disabilities. I made a great connection with one of the women, and we just had a great time talking and doing different activities, and we just hit it off. I look forward to going again next month!
This past Friday was also my sister Maya’s birthday. She is studying music education in New York and she is having a fabulous time! I am so proud of her! She made a huge jump going to school across the country, but it sounds as if it is the perfect fit for her, so I could not be any happier! She is truly becoming a lovely young woman!
This week’s post is dedicated to a quote by Yousuf Karsh: “Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.” Have a great week everyone! Thanks for reading!