Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

The Nuns and Migrant Children: A Welcome Tale of Faith, Justice

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

The Nuns and Migrant Children: A Welcome Tale of Faith, Justice

Article excerpt

For many of us, autumn, with its changing colors and bracing chill in the air, is a kind of exhilarating transition to winter. But for too many migrant-worker children, the season signals upheaval and the dread of entering a new school as the most marginal of minorities.

So the page 3 story of Leslie Wirpsa's visit with a group of nuns and migrant children in Sandusky County, Ohio, is a welcome tale of a new and different approach. These children, part of a pilot program for a "traveling school," will move to Florida where new crops await their parents. But their school situation will remain relatively unchanged. Thanks to these Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, this group of children will have the same teachers, their lessons will continue uninterrupted, they will not be a shunned minority in a new place. They'll even be able to bring along the same drawings and paper cutouts of pumpkins they made to decorate their classroom in Ohio.

In Fremont, Ohio, we are provided, once again by women in the church, with a reason to celebrate lives of dedication and faith.

The story is especially poignant, coming as it does at the start of the synod dealing with religious life just under way in Rome. If the past is any indication, many in charge at the Vatican will see the synod as yet another chance to exert greater control over religious orders, to continue to square what some see as the untidy corners left over from the Second Vatican Council.

There will be debate and documents and politicking. Through it all, it will be good to remember the nuns of Sandusky County. Like countless other religious women, whose ranks are thinning, they move on, doing the works of justice, showing with their lives what a religious commitment really means.

Like so many of their counterparts around this country and the world, they will draw others into their work, providing a chance for widening circles of Catholics and others to announce the kingdom in ways far removed from theological debate and curial intrigue. …

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