Mass for Migrants and Refugees

Photo taken from – Catholic Archdiocese of Washington | Facebook

Some of the student friars in study at The Catholic University of America (CUA in Washington DC) – friar Alex Gould, OFM Conv. of Our Lady of Consolation Province, and friar Cristofer Fernández, OFM Conv. & friar Edgar Varela, OFM Conv. of our province (Our Lady of the Angels Province) attended the Archdiocese of Washington’s Mass for Migrants and Refugees, at the invitation of CUA’s Center for Cultural Engagement. The young friars were stirred by the multicultural liturgy. They received a flattering compliment from the Guatemalan Ambassador about how lovely their singing throughout the liturgy was–they sat behind the ambassador and his family unknowingly. Afterwards, the friars participated in an informal dialogue with Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, Auxilary Bishop of Washington & a native of Bogotá, Colombia, and other CUA students and staff on matters relating Migrants and Refugees to the Church and to our faith.  [Article in the Catholic Standard]


This participation touched the heart of another one of our friars deeply. Fr. Julio Martinez, OFM Conv. serves as pastor at St. Julia Catholic Community, a parish of more than 2,000 parishioners; 85% of them Spanish-speaking. The parish community celebrates diversity and the richness of the cultural backgrounds that bring together a Catholic community in the 21st Century. Friar Julio writes: “How Wonderful! My heart swelled with gratitude and pride at seeing two of our province’s friars in formation in attendance at the Mass for Migrants and Refugees in Washington, D.C. Your presence at that Mass speaks volumes about what Pope Francis bids us to do toward the stranger and the immigrant. Your presence speaks volumes about our Franciscan ideals of being in solidarity with the poor and the voiceless. You set an example of companionship and compassion which the migrant and refugee community all over the world needs and is hungry to feel. As a refugee myself, I just want to thank you.” ~Friar Julio

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