U.S. Catholic Bishops Visit Children in Border Detention Facilities, Call for Reunification

A group of some of the most high-profile Catholic Bishops in the country took the time to minister to the immigrant children now being held at a detention center on the U.S.-Texas border. The bishops urgently called for steps to help these children get reunited with their families at the end of their two-day visit.

At a news conference on Tuesday, July 2, the group acknowledged that steps to bring the children back to their families may have started, but what remains to be done is still an "urgent" matter that must be seen to right away, despite the complicated processes involved.

"The children who are separated from their parents need to be reunited," Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said at the end of their two-day visit at the border detention facilities, as quoted by the Catholic News Service.

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It was a sobering visit for many members of the delegation as they saw the children by themselves without their families. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB vice president, celebrated Mass in Spanish with some of the children being held at what was once a Walmart store loading area.

"Obviously, when there are children at Mass, they are with their parents and families ... but it was special to be with them and give them some hope," Gomez said.

For Bishop Daniel Flores, their visit was also a way for them to better understand what immigrant families are currently going through and to find a way to respond from there. "As a church, we have to be the ones who say 'there's always a human face, and the human face always points to Christ in whatever suffering there is,'" he emphasized.

The group was led by Cardinal DiNardo, and aside from the Mass, the bishops also visited a humanitarian respite center for immigrants, according to the Washington Post.

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