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US Bishops to Offer Mass for Those Who Died Crossing Mexico's Border

USCCB
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March 7, 2014
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Sister Betty Campbell points to names of persons who have been killed in a photo of a mural featured at the Arte Sin Fronteras and Healer For the Arts Festival In Las Cruces, NM. (SCSunNews)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, joined by bishops on the border, will travel to Nogales, Arizona, March 30-April 1 to tour the U.S.-Mexico border and celebrate Mass on behalf of the close to 6,000 migrants who have died in the U.S. desert since 1998.

The purpose of the trip is to highlight the human suffering caused by a broken immigration system, an aspect of the national immigration debate which is often ignored.

“What we fail to remember in this debate is the human aspect of immigration – that immigration is primarily about human beings, not economic or social issues,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “Those who have died – and those deported each day – have the same value and innate God-given dignity as all persons, yet we ignore their suffering and their deaths.”

The trip follows the example of Pope Francis, who, in his first trip outside of Rome, traveled to the Italian island of Lampedusa to remember African migrants who died attempting to reach Europe. During that trip, Pope Francis spoke about the “globalization of indifference” toward migrants and decried the “throwaway culture” that disposes of human beings in the pursuit of wealth.

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