Msgr. Arturo J. Bañuelas, a native of El Paso, Texas is currently the pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in that diocese. Formerly he served as pastor of St. Pius X, which was identified as an outstanding parish in the national survey by Paul Wilkes in Excellent Catholic Parishes (Paulist Press, 2000). After earning his doctorate from the Gregorian University in Rome, in 1988 he was the founding director of the Tepeyac Institute, a diocesan ministry formation center. The Institute is one of the largest in the nation training laity for parish ministry, and is distinctive with its formation shaped by the reality of the border. Bañuelas has been widely recognized and honored for his advocacy on behalf of farmworkers, immigrants and for his work on issues of life and justice at the border. He is a popular speaker and teacher who addresses topics of theology, faith and politics with various civic, academic, religious, pastoral and health organizations. Bañuelas has founded a number of initiatives in theology, ministry and border activism over the past forty years. He was a co-founder of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS) and most recently established the Hope Border Institute, which focuses on justice issues in the three border dioceses of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, New Mexico and Juarez, Mexico.
Arturo J. Bañuelas
We write as the authors of Theology en la Plaza -- en conjunto, united in prophetic rage and graced by the resilience of nuestra gente, paying critical attention to the role of the incendiary language that fueled the latest destructive incarnation of hate in El Paso.
Theology en la Plaza: This past month, I had the opportunity to visit with the families of two Guatemalan children who died while in custody of U.S. border control.
The arrival of more immigrants should not be a cause for concern but a promise of a better United States of America. From a Catholic perspective, this caravan is a modern-day migrant human rights movement.
The immigrant crisis highlights the inhumane and cruel policies of the U.S. government. The way we respond morally will determine our future. The very soul of our country is at stake. As the border goes, so does the nation.