By Sister Rosellyn Humbert
On October 14 Archbishop Oscar Romero was canonized a saint. My parish sponsored a viewing of the video “Romero.” This film dramatically emphasized the “conversion” of this intellectual cleric to one who walked with the poor. It made me think of all the ways those who come for asylum to the US: citizens who are marginalized and terrorized in the countries they seek to leave. What happens when we return them to these dangerous situations by our immigration policies?
I am not proposing that there are simple answers to the immigration policies we now have. I am saying they are not what I, as a Sylvania Franciscan sister want to see as policy in the country I live in. In our Mission Statement we say “the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, commit themselves to . . . embrace the poor and marginalized.” To me those affected by our lack of clear policies on immigration and the present administration’s decisions about limits to legal immigration are in direct contradiction to our Mission Statement.
Then there are those who stand at intersections with signs asking for help. I have on occasion given aid to people who come to my car for money for gas or food. I do not know if they use it for something else but I do give. I give donations to Clare’s Pence for women who need a small financial grant to get them through a rough patch. These are small attempts I make to live our mission. This is not an easy invitation: embracing the poor and marginalized is not glamorous or personally rewarding. Activism is often misunderstood. There are political implications. We may not all agree on how to implement this embrace. I think this is an issue we all must struggle together to understand and implement.
Who are the poor and marginalized in your life? Is it the person who is excluded or teased? The person who looks different? The person you try to avoid?