Love thy neighbor: Archbishop stresses acceptance amid border crisis

SAN ANTONIO – Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller on Monday visited Catholic Charities where some 400 families are expected to be reunited sometime this week.

Garcia-Siller conveyed a message of acceptance and understanding.

Understanding circumstances of others:

“People have the right to leave their countries. In this case, most of the people, not all, but most of the people, they leave their countries to live. They flee to live and we need to hear that cry. It could be a place like Nicaragua, which is in a civil war. In other places: persecution, violence, killings, drugs, so it’s very complicated.”

Love thy neighbor, despite differences:

“Not all of us are on the same page or exposed to the same experiences so we need to understand one another. They will not be able to move on here in the United states, doing good, if they are not integrated. We need to embrace, to promote and to integrate the immigrants and refugees.”

Limited communication with ICE about when families will arrive at Catholic Charities for reunification:

“It’s a great unknown situation and we understand the complications. We see how many different groups are working with migrants and refugees  -- so we hope that there will be more clarity, that there will be better communication. We depend on the different layers of organizations in the country that respond to the government’s direction for us to receive children and families.”

What Catholic Charities provides for refugee or immigrant families:

  • Food and clothes
  • Physical assessment, access to doctors
  • Telephones for national and international calls
  • Help with documents
  • Help entertaining children
  • Transportation to places they’ll be staying: hotels or homes within the community

About the Author:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.