Parish roundup: March for migrants; prayers for Nicaragua

A man holds a Nicaraguan flag from the balcony at Holy Family Church in Dale City, Virginia, as about 1,000 people gather July 20 to pray for peace in Nicaragua. (CNS/Elizabeth A. Elliott, Arlington Catholic Herald)

by Dan Morris-Young

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On July 29, St Ignatius Parish in Portland, Oregon, hosted a "refugee simulation" for parishioners "to gain insights into the lives of refugees around the world." Participants were able to visit various tables and stations that provided information and awareness of "the hardships, the frustrations, and often the pain that refugees endure," according to the parish website. The effort was developed with the help of Jesuit Refugee Service.

St. Patrick's Cathedral in El Paso, Texas, was the terminus of a July 20 procession and site of an interfaith service attended by some 700 to express solidarity with immigrants and refugees. Procession leaders included five Catholic bishops: Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas, Bishop Oscar Cantu and retired Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Bishop Edward Burns and Auxiliary Bishop Greg Kelly of Dallas.

Two days earlier Seitz had released a pastoral letter on immigration titled "Sorrow and Mourning Flee Away."

Fr. Lawrence Carney, known as the "walking priest," talks with a reporter July 9 at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in West Bend, Iowa. (CNS/Jerry Mennenga)

"If there is one truth that has become evident, it is that the reality transgender people live is miles from public perception," writes Deacon Ray Dever in his U.S. Catholic magazine reflection, "Transgender and Catholic: A parent's perspective (A deacon's personal account of parenting a transgender child)."

At Sts. Peter and Paul Church in the Iowa town of West Bend, Fr. Lawrence Carney recently shared his ministry of walking the streets with a rosary in one hand, a crucifix in the other, and a willingness to visit with or minister to anyone open to the encounter. Nicknamed "the walking priest," Carney is a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, on loan to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri. Chaplain to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, in Gower, Missouri, he celebrates the Tridentine Mass there almost daily after which he takes to the streets of St. Joseph.

Volunteers with the Tucson Samaritans, including School Sister of Notre Dame Judy Bourg, save lives of persons trekking the Sonoran Desert to reach the U.S. by stationing water bottles and food at various sites.

Franciscan Br. David Buer and Sr. Judy Bourg, a School Sister of Notre Dame, who are part of the Tucson Samaritans, are pictured in late May in the Sonoran Desert northeast of Ajo, Arizona. (CNS/Global Sisters Report/Peter Tran)

More than 1,000 Hispanic Catholics prayed for Nicaraguan peace and reconciliation during a July 20 Mass at Holy Family Parish in Dale City, Virginia. The church in Nicaragua has endured numerous attacks from pro-government forces, including one July 9 on Cardinal Brenes Solorzano of Managua and his auxiliary, Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, and papal nuncio Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag.

Youngsters from Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Parish in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada, perform a play based on the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, part of a July 14 Mass and celebration honoring North America's first indigenous saint. (Andrew Ehrkamp/Grandin Media)

The fifth annual celebration of the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, North America's first indigenous saint, was held July 14 at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Parish in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada. Four First Nations from south of Edmonton took part, celebrating "the saint as one of their own," reported Grandin Media, the new site of the Edmonton, Canada Archdiocese.

In April, St. Kateri was also celebrated at another annual event at St. Paul Cathedral in St. Paul, Alberta. Seven young women, dressed as the saint might have appeared, recited sections of a narrative on her life.

[Dan Morris-Young is NCR's West Coast correspondent. His email is]

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