Mr. Vicknair invited me to speak to the junior students in his AP U.S. History class as a way of adding some real experiences to their broad topic of our international borders, immigration, and relations with our neighbors.
The Immersion Retreat I went on was led by Brother Bernard Couvillion and took place the weekend before Thanksgiving 2017. Five of us traveled to Nogales, Arizona, and immersed ourselves in the daily work of those operating the Kino Border Initiative. The Kino Initiative was founded by and is supported by several religious communities and has as its mission service to recently deported people regardless of their home countries or status.
I showed the class photos of the border wall separating Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico, shared stories of our meeting with local ranchers, conversations with many of the people recently deported to Nogales, Mexico, our service helping to provide meals, cell phone access, etc.
The purpose of the retreat was to expand the prophetic nature of our Brothers of the Sacred Heart mission by experiencing some of what those at the periphery of our culture live day to day, praying and reflecting on the religious implications of their plight, considering what we can do in response, and then carrying the message forward to others – just like those in this class.
– written by John Devlin