As a courtesy I sent a copy of my Pastoral Letter, “Sorrow and Mourning Flee Away” to Pope Francis along with a cover letter in which I thanked him for his witness on the plight of migrants in our world today. I wrote him: “Su compasión hacia los inmigrantes y los refugiados ha incitado la mía propia y nos ha fortalecido a todos para servir mejor a aquellos que han venido a vivir aquí y los miles que están simplemente de paso.”
I received a response from the Vatican Secretary of State’s office. In a very gracious letter on behalf of the Holy Father his representative wrote, “His Holiness prays that the evangelical concern shown by your local Church for migrants and their families will contribute to a greater awareness of their situation and a just and conscientious response on the part of the larger community. Commending you, the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese to the loving intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, he cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of wisdom, strength and peace in the Lord.”
Since this part of the letter is addressed to the clergy and laity of the Diocese I wanted to share Our Holy Father’s prayerful and affirming words with all of you. May God grant us the Spirit’s wisdom and the strength to stand in union with Pope Francis and with the Church throughout the world as witnesses to God’s love for all those who suffer the plight of the migrant and refugee.
Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz, DD
Bishop of El Paso
Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz