Bishops Make Pastoral Visit to the Border with Mexico
Catholic News Service Articles, Photos and Video

At the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation of bishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to an HHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit.

Catholic News Service (CNS) accompanied the bishops on their border trip.  CNS has provided the articles, photos and videos linked below:

Bishop Robert J. Brennan, auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, N.Y., helps a volunteer at a Catholic Charities-run respite center in McAllen, Texas, serve soup July 1 to immigrants recently released from U.S. custody. A delegation of U.S. bishops has traveled to the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, to learn more about the detention of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexian border. (CNS photo/Chaz Muth)


1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.

2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the Church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”

3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”

4. At an opening Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Mass-goers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us.”


1. A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

2. Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.

The Immigration debate must be informed by Faith

For a Catholic perspective on the immigration debate, visit the website of Justice for Immigrants, a partner of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  There you will find current news, background information, Bishops’ statements and action alerts.  You will also find stories that put a human face on this issue.