The call of the first disciples as related by Matthew in the gospel he wrote can evoke feelings of amazement and wonder. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, the gospel says, “they left their nets and followed him” (4:18). When Jesus called James and John, the gospel says, “immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.”
It’s amazing to think that people would just leave their present occupation and take up another mission, and we may wonder what our response would have been.
I thought of this gospel scene when I reflected on a more recent call to another group of Jesus’ disciples. Sister Donna Markham, our president and CEO at Catholic Charities USA, with the help of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, put out a call to the sisters in the U.S. to go to the U.S./Mexican border and help the families, men, and women coming in to the country.
Without hesitation, the sisters left what they were doing and went to the border to help those in need. Maybe we should not be amazed at this since the sisters did the same thing three years ago during a similar time of need, but it’s always good to ponder their response and think about how we might contribute in our own way.
This issue features the reaction of the Catholic Charities agencies who received the sisters and witnessed their work with the migrants. Also included is a video montage of some of the sisters speaking about their experience. Kat Kelley, director of Strategic Initiatives at Catholic Charities of Oregon, writes about “The Border is Everywhere” project, which you will want to read.
Special thanks to Kristan Schlichte, senior director of membership, who was the liaison with all the sisters and helped to arrange the interviews with them.
Charities USA (ISSN 0364-0760) is published by Catholic Charities USA. Address all correspondence to the Managing Editor. © 2021 Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, Virginia.
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