Beginning in July 2021, the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province missioned a small team of Jesuits to serve in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border. We met with Bishop Daniel Flores who articulated our mission to “read the reality and respond to it.” Since then, we have strived to do precisely that.
What we have encountered is a particularly acute need for pastoral accompaniment and sacramental ministry with the migrant population on both sides of the border. We articulate our mission in this way:
- Our ministry is itinerant and missionary in nature and strives to walk with the excluded, as articulated in the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus.
- Our ministry is flexible and constantly discerns the most appropriate ways to meet the needs of the migrant population, maintaining the readiness to move and walk with the migrant church.
- Our ministry also includes humanitarian aid, collaborating with local actors and other religious working with migrants, raising awareness on the border reality, and advocating for immigration reform.
How does this mission play out?
We visit migrant camps and shelters on both sides of the border. Primarily, we celebrate Mass, which offers us an opportunity to share a privileged space of prayer and reflection, with God in our midst and made even more visible in the Body and Blood of Christ that we bless, break and share. Before and after Mass, we spend time visiting with migrants, listening to their stories as they share their pain and also their hopes and dreams.
We provide humanitarian aid by bringing donations to shelters in northern Mexico. This includes items like reusable plates and bowls for people to eat, sanitary pads for women, baby wipes and powdered milk for children, and soap and shampoo for people to bathe.
We take our name from Our Lady of the Way (“Nuestra Señora del Camino” in Spanish). Many of the migrants we accompany turn to the Virgin Mary in prayer, and the devotion of Our Lady of the Way was especially important to our founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola. We continue to pray for her intercession for all those “on the way” in their migrant journey.
How to help
You can contribute to Del Camino Jesuit Border Ministries through our Amazon wishlist, which is based on direct feedback from migrants themselves. These donations are brought directly to shelters in northern Mexico.
You can make a monetary donation through the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province directly through this site. Follow the link below and under “Designation” click “Del Camino Jesuit Border Ministries.” This donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law and will be used to make purchases locally that will be brought directly to help aid migrants.
The Jesuit Border Podcast
The Jesuit Border Podcast seeks to highlight the work that the Catholic Church and others are doing to address the needs of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. We share stories and reflections about our own ministry among migrants in shelters and camps along the border, and we interview others who accompany, serve, and advocate for migrants and refugees.
Check out the latest episode!
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The Jesuit Border Podcast Study Guides break down the episodes for each season so that you can dive deeper into all of the themes and stories with a group, class, or for your own personal reflection. The study guides include questions to reflect on before and after listening to each episode:
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If you would like to receive the Del Camino Jesuit Border Ministries Newsletter, click the button below. The occasional newsletter shares stories and photos from our ministry on the border.
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Come and see
Del Camino Jesuit Border Ministries does not have a dedicated program for immersion trips. But we see the value to “come and see” what’s happening on the border in order to meet migrants and hear their stories. If you belong to a parish or school that is interested in visiting the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in south Texas, we can help make recommendations for a trip and connect you with local organizations. Visiting groups are also welcome to accompany us in our ministry during their visit when possible.