At the heart of the world

Accompaniment of Trans migrants, Tierra Blanca, Veracruz. Mexico

Every day we are faced with the challenge of welcoming trans migrants from most of Central America; but there are also Mexican migrants and occasionally Haitians, Colombians, Cubans and Venezuelans. With joy, we live this mission of meeting men, women, children who, for various reasons must leave their country, leave their family, their culture, their customs, their environment, and embark on the unknown. Some flee the violence that harasses them, others seek the possibility of a dignified life, having a job, food, the opportunity to study, a just remuneration, rest; they seek to realize their dreams, to go forward and concretize a project of life, with tranquillity and joy.

We know that we are not alone, we know the work that the sisters are doing in Montreynaud, St Etienne, France. That of the Sisters of Lebanon with displaced persons from Syria. The sisters of India take care of people fleeing from Sri Lanka. The Sisters of Greece lived with the Albanians when Yugoslavia split up. The sisters who were on mission in Youtou, Senegal, were with displaced people. We know that many of the Sisters of St. Joseph work near Hispanic people on the southern border of the USA. In France there are sisters who welcome people coming from South-Saharan Africa, and there are surely many other sisters and laypeople who have hearts open to migrants in different times and places of the world.

In 1998, the sisters of Mexico started an experiment in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, very close to the river 'Bravo', on the border with the USA. They stayed there until 2003. They welcomed Mexican, Central American and migrants from other countries. They worked in teams with lay people and priests, to raise awareness of the rights of migrants, and the search for people who disappear in the river or on the way. At that time, the Nazareth Migrant House was built and, together with the population, a circle of support for migrants was created. In 2008-2009, one of our sisters lived in a hostel for migrants, in Lecheria, in the state of Mexico. She welcomed migrants and collaborated with the hostel management, lay volunteers and other religious congregations.

In 2010, the Province left one of its institutions: a Retreat House, in Ste Ursula, to release sisters to work in another hostel for migrants, in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, in south-eastern Mexico. Through this city, every day passes a train called 'the beast'. Throughout the year, in the hostel we welcome and we see people leaving, sometimes wounded, sick, wet ..., as they had travelled on the roof of freight cars for more than 12 hours. These are families who leave their homes and land because of famine, or threats of organized crime, or for lack of work.

From the point of view of some political analysts, the southern border of Mexico resembles a 'Gruyère cheese', perforated by mountains, rivers, valleys and plains. On marked routes, or without them, migrant people from Central America or other countries, pass and want to continue their journey, even if they face the violent actionof the police, or army, or all kinds of gangs. They have to face the actions of our government to curb migration, as well as the instructions and pressures of the US government. President Trump's policiesseparates families and / or deports people without trial and without being able to take steps to seek asylum or refuge. Also, European policies proclaim to have createdcenters of refuge in other countries ... These are challenges and challenges that ask us profound questions ...

Pope Francis constantly repeats the call to live mercy, humanization, by welcoming, protecting and integrating the migrants in all the world ... He invites us to open ourselves, to enrich ourselves with different cultural encounters; the overall situation of migration is the prelude to profound changes in society and cultures. The displaced, the migrants, trans migrants, refugees, cry out for LIFE, for justice, equity, work, education, protection in the face of violence, war, death ...

Facing all this, we ask ourselves, in the community, and we send the question to the whole Congregation through the website: "As Sisters of St Joseph of Lyon, would we not have a word, a global action, a position to take? According to our own discernment, what is Jesus' call for us today? "

Community of Tierra Blanca, Veracruz


  1. Trans migrants: people who pass through a country on their way to another country that will be their final destination.


Migrant photos



Pictures of children



Watch out for the wounded

                              Sisters with migrants                                                                        Human Rights Conference