Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 08 May |
home iconNews
line break icon

Catholic Charities leads humanitarian effort at U.S-Mexico border

MOTHER AND CHILD

Ruslan Shugushev | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 04/13/21

"Kids are kids regardless of where they live," says Antonio Fernandez, president and CEO of San Antonio’s Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities is spearheading an effort to bring aid to migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. has received nearly 19,000 children labeled “unaccompanied minors” in March of 2021 alone. Thousands more are expected to arrive in the coming months. 

According to Catholic Charities USA, their Archdiocese of San Antonio arm has created a care center in Freeman Coliseum. There, the organization has set up more than 2,000 cots for migrant children. Bolstered by local church volunteers, the workers assemble hygiene kits and meals for the kids.

Antonio Fernandez, president and CEO of San Antonio’s Catholic Charities, called it a “privilege” to serve the community in this way. He noted that the children’s separation from their parents is a humanitarian concern. He said: 

“While I understand that this could be considered a political issue for many, it is strictly a humanitarian one to us at Catholic Charities.”

Antonio Fernandez via Catholic Charities USA

The report goes on to note that one of the biggest hurdles to the operation is keeping the kids free of COVID-19. Border patrol has not been screening incoming migrants, and the task of identifying infection has fallen to Catholic Charities. 

Letting kids be kids

Along with food, shelter, and medical attention, Catholic Charities is also affording these children a chance to embrace childhood. They are providing the kids with toys, soccer balls, and stuffed animals to remind them that they are still kids. For children who have experienced prolonged separation from their parents, playtime can be essential to mental health. 

Fernandez commented: 

“Kids are kids regardless of where they live. I can never stop thinking about my daughter in a place like this, and the thought moves me to try harder to be the best for these unaccompanied children.”

Catholic Charities from Texas archdioceses are mobilizing similar efforts along the border. In the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Catholic Charities is working closely with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to house children of refugee families. Their efforts have included legal advocacy for minors, as well as organizing prayers

Learn more about Catholic Chartites’ border efforts and ways to get involved here.

Tags:
Charity
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
3
MOTHER OF ASIA - TOWER OF PEACE
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
4
FIRST LOOK
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
5
OUR LADY OF FATIMA,SUN
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima for healing and strength
6
CHURCH
Philip Kosloski
What are the 4 different parts of the Mass?
7
SAINT Januarius
J-P Mauro
Watch the blood of St. Januarius liquefy in May 2021
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.