Brenda Nettles Riojas serves the Diocese of Brownsville as editor of The Valley Catholic and director of diocesan relations. She is the radio host for Corazón Bilingüe, an online conversation and poetry journal. Brenda Nettles Riojas sirve a la Diócesis de Brownsville como editora de The Valley Catholic y directora de relaciones diocesanas. Ella es la presentadora de radio de Corazón Bilingüe, conversaciones con escritores.

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Church's role in helping immigrants indispensable, says Texas bishop

SAN ANTONIO -- A Catholic bishop told a San Antonio audience that "as a leaven in the wider community of peoples" and the bearer "of conscience and of hope," the church must work in favor of the immigrant, preach the Gospel and focus on the youths.

After outlining the changing dynamics of immigration and violence and addressing some of the effects on the local communities, Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville offered his "pastoral perspective and some thoughts about the indispensable role of the church in facing the current reality on the border."

He emphasized the need "to call attention to the plight of the innocent who suffer," and to the "urgent task" of connecting youths to the life of the church.

"We must raise a call to conscience for the people of our two great nations to see how a culture of violence and death is destroying a people and a culture that has endured and flourished on both sides of the border for many generations," he said. "This destructive blight affects us in different ways on the two sides of the (Rio Grande) River, but they are interrelated ways."