Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Jesus Was A Migrant

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Jesus Was A Migrant

Article excerpt

JESUS WAS A MIGRANT

By Deirdre Cornell (Orbis, 2014)

In her latest book, Jesus Was a Migrant, Deirdre Cornell makes biblical stories and faith practices come powerfully alive by reflecting on them through the lens of the painful and joyful experiences of the migrants she has accompanied and served for two decades. In the process, Cornell builds bridges between the struggles, hopes, and faith of the Mexican farmworkers with whom she ministers in upstate New York, her family history of Irish and Italian immigrants, and her own and her family's experiences with hospitality in the Catholic Worker movement and as Maryknoll lay missioners in Mexico.

For the past nine years I have had the privilege of teaching English as a second language to mostly Mexican immigrants, and like Cornell, I often have to marvel at the heart-wrenching challenges so many of them have had to overcome. By retelling, among others, the stories of Rosa's quinceahera and subsequent deportation, the burial of Susana and Pedro's newborn twins, a Christmas in a Florida trailer park, and Jose's unjust imprisonment, Cornell offers fresh perspectives and gives deeper meaning to core biblical stories and faith practices. …

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