The PATHWAYS of PAUL Pilgrimage, Sept. 18-28, 2019 -- Information

 
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ICE detains Dodge City man for three days in case of mistaken identity

Yet, father of three thankful for opportunity to live in the United States

By Dave Myers

Southwest Kansas Catholic

Editor’s Note: “Alberto’s” documentation is in process and he has no fear of deportation. While he allowed the SKC to use his full name, due to his pending immigration hearing and any possible actions concerning his alleged false arrest, the SKC has decided only to use his first name.

It was a December morning.  A deep blue sky made the biting cold a bit more tolerable. As he did every morning, a Dodge City resident waved goodbye to his three young children as they boarded the bus to school.

As the bus drove out of sight, two individuals, a man and a woman, both with letters — ICE — emblazoned on their jackets, approached the man. They questioned him briefly. He pleaded with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents. He had committed no crime. He has no criminal record.

 He was not the man they were looking for. If only they would accompany him to his home where he could get his passport to prove it.

“The ICE agents didn’t speak Spanish,” the man told the Southwest Kansas Catholic, and Alberto, the man questioned that morning, spoke very little English. They refused to allow him to go home, he said. His phone was taken from him. Unable to inform his wife, the father of three found himself being driven to Chase County, northeast of Wichita, on that cold December morning, his immediate future a frightening mystery.

Alberto’s documentation is in process. Up until that December morning a year ago, he had no fear of deportation.

Alberto was born in Guatemala, the son of farmers. His family owned a small patch of land on which Alberto, his siblings and parents, grew corn.

“We were poor,” Alberto said through interpreter, Sister Angela Erevia, MCDP. At his side sat his three children, ages 9, 5 and 3. The oldest, a boy, sat quietly while his sister, the middle child, tapped away on a cell phone. The youngest vied for the attention of his father (when not attempting to obtain the cell phone from his sister). 

“We could not afford clothes, so our mother would buy sheets and cut them up for us to wear,” Alberto said. “Every morning we would work for one hour in the field before going to school.

“After school we would work until the sun began to set, then we’d play [soccer] using a ball we made from sackcloth,” he said, smiling at the memory.

Despite his hardships, he eventually graduated from high school, and even went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in “Primary Education in a Bicultural Setting.” It was while teaching Spanish and his native Quiché in Guatemala that he met the woman of his dreams. The two were soon married.

The paradox of love is that the weight of the world both decreases and increases when one adds love to the mix: a person’s heart is made light by love, yet loving another multiplies one’s concerns for health and safety. The political strife, the depressed economy, and worst of all, the violent gangs, compelled him (as it has countless others) to make the difficult decision to start a new life in the United States.

This was 12 years ago. In those 12 years, Alberto and his wife have built a family in Kansas — two boys and a girl — both parents have jobs, their children happily attend school, and they paid off a home. He is only 33, and he is realizing his true American dream.

As Alberto lay on a cement slab under a thin blanket at the Chase County Jail a year ago, he thought about his life in the United States.

“He is very active in his Church,” Sister Angela volunteered as she listened to Alberto tell his story. “He is a reader at Mass, and from 3-6 p.m. each Sunday he attends the Guatemalan prayer gathering for reflection, Rosary, song and fellowship.”

Once arriving at the Chase County Jail, Alberto was given his phone. He notified his wife, who sobbed in sadness and relief after finally hearing from her missing husband.

For three days Alberto was incarcerated, a victim of mistaken identity. It was someone else they were looking for, possibly the previous owner of the house in which he lived, Sister Angela said.

“I felt very sad,” Alberto said. “They didn’t listen to me. They only spoke English.

“I have a clean record,” Alberto added.

When the truth was finally realized, that he indeed was not the person they were looking for, he was unceremoniously released.

“They told me that when my family pays a fine, I can go.”  His wife raced east with a friend, paid a $1,500 fine and retrieved her tired husband.

With his three children sitting quietly at his side during his interview with the SKC (his wife was at work and unable to attend), he explained that his attorney said that in four years, he would attend a court hearing in which he will, in all likelihood, obtain his legal residency (green card).

Despite all that has happened, he is ever thankful to live in the United States. “I’m so glad that I have the opportunity to live here,” he said. “I would never want to go back to Guatemala.”

His hope now is to one day be able to again step into a classroom and share the lessons he has learned with an eager audience.

“God is great,” he said. “God is love, and God is mercy. Our faith in God gives us hope.”

 

 

The immigrant story doesn’t end at the border

Alberto’s story (above) shows that the situations affecting immigrants are not just happening at the border,” Sister Angela Erevia, MCDP, told the Southwest Kansas Catholic, “they are happening right here.”

Sister Angela, the Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, offers a voice for the rapidly growing Hispanic population in the diocese.

She does so to build bridges of understanding and fellowship between all people.

In 2010, Sister Angela participated (as she has in years’ past) as a volunteer with the U.S. Census Bureau. Her job was to encourage people, documented and undocumented, to register with the census — to not be afraid.

Why?

“The census information is kept secret for 72 years,” she explained. “Once the information is analyzed, we all become statistics, and that is what is published for public record.

“Once the census is calculated, the city receives federal funding based on the population,” Sister said.

“That’s funding for education, health care, infrastructure.”

“Therefore,” she stressed, “immigrants are contributing to the economy, to the schools! Families are providing teaching jobs by sending their children to school. Some of these children are U.S. citizens.

“Just look at our schools. The Dodge City high school and middle schools had to expand to address the growing student population. Dodge City is benefitting from their presence.

“Just as in the case of Alberto,” Sister Angela concluded, “they don’t want a hand-out, they just want to work.”

Past Issues

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Dec. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Celebrate Christmas 'unplugged'; Msgr. Matthew Smith; Klan; Catholic Charities Annual Appeal; Fr. Larry Rosebaugh; A Guadalupe Encounter; Laci and Joe Salazar; A Christmas Wish; Adoption; Confession; Advent; EWTN; Christmas Blues; Tilma; Pittsburgh; PSR

 

Dec. 3, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2017 NCYC; Wheel of Balance; Marita Rother; Stanley Rother; slavery; trafficking; Windthorst water damage; martyred priests; confession; reconciliation; How to go to confession; recipe for codfish cakes; Catholic schools; appeal

 

Nov. 19, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Saints; Father Kola; Black Elk; Giving Tuesday; velvet Elvis; a Slice of Time; Dani Sandoval; Mexican Village; Father Tim Hickey; New faces at chancery; priests share thoughts on confession; Wheel of Balance

 

Nov. 5, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Matrimony Anniversary Mass, 2017; Riebel; Faith and Light; Scripture Day; Sex in the Bible; Quilt, Mexican Village Story; Finance; Fatima pilgrimage; Fowler church window renovation; Medicare; Crazy Glue


Oct. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Father Francis Jordan; Sister Renee Kirmer; Father Rother beatified; religious liberty; RCIA Kansas; V Encuentro; Bishop Weisenburger; Daughters of Isabella; Bishop Gerber Science Center


Oct. 1, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: De Colores; Rebein; Dreamer; Pies; Kellner; Code Quilts; Sister Crucita; Feezor; Formed.org; Sin and pain

 

 Sept. 17, 2017

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Sister Lucy Fidelis; Underground Railroad; Sister Irene Hartman; DACA; new priests; teachers; Volunteer of the Year; Golf Classic; St. Francis Xavier; St. Nicholas Parish Center, Kinsley; seminarians; Knights Lite; Stewardship Day 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 13, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Coronado Cross; Masada; Moody Gardens; Elders; Rother; undocumented children; cages; year of mercy; Kumi; Hollywood makeup artist; New Mexico; refugee women.

July 16, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Summer camp; tithing and almsgiving; Bill Baalmann; Nathan Schaller; Jubilarian Sisters; Sister Hortencia Rodriguez; Sister Petrona Stockemer; Sister Denise Sevart; Convocation of Catholic Leaders; Mother talks about her son entering seminary; Arcoiris; Youth group travels to Colorado Springs; Major Phillip Roth

June 11, 2017 (Updated)

Ordination; Mark Brantley; Jacob Schneider; Father's Day; Thanks, Dad!; Appeal; Sister Mary Martin Weaver; Bishop Maralit; Budget; Trafficked women; Deacon Michael Brungardt; Dead Sea Scrolls; softball; Father Urban retirement; Sister Kravec retirement; Father Mazouch retirement; Authentic Joy; Pris Climate Accord; Jack Schramm; Pieta.

May 28, 2017 (Updated)

 

Grateful Hearts; MSFS Provincial; Reddy; Reif; Opossum; Dead Sea Scrolls; Our Lady of Fatima; Jorge Herrera, Jr.; Cursillo; Kough; First Communion; Confirmation

May 14, 2017

Esteban Hernandez; citizen; Lilly Ann Rein, Amberly Jimenez, Mother's Day; peacock; Quattrocchi; President Kennedy; Teen Moms; Junior High Youth Rally; Encounter With God's Call; granny/nanny; seniors' contributions; tornado anniversary; harvest; healthcare; Mr. Brown; Store-bought teeth; Louis and Zelie Martin; Father John Sullivan; Irish priest whose prayers could heal; Mexican beauty queen; Esmaralda Gonzalez; religious life

April 30, 2017

   KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; bully; TEC; Father Marvin Reif; Bet'sie; What makes a hero?; St. Mary of the Plains; tornado

Easter, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar

March 26, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: From the heart; kidney; Rother; Friar Carmelo; Schnauzer; Lauren Seachris; Lauren's Treat; fire; Guatemala; immigration; Lenten Regulations 1888; Hot Cross Buns; budget; Trump; Forkuoh; Seiwert; South Sudan; hot ashes

March 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Refugees; immigrants; Gilbert Herrman; When you give alms'; Lent; Call to Continuing Conversion, Rite of Election; Charell and Jeremy Owings; adoption; Our Growing Church; Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; water; creation; Sudan; Darlow Lampe

Feb 26, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Night to shine; Immigration; immigrants; Knights of Columbus; Pete Gomez; this foreign mission; Creole; Robin Doll; Eagle Scout; Quest

Feb 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; March for Life; Pro-life; Executive Order; Secular Franciscan Order; teachers; Down Syndrome; Eagle Scout; Bronze Pelican

Jan. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Thank you, religious; SEEK 2017; homeless man to priest; Fourth Sunday; Secret Service to Sacred Heart; Dr. Gerard Brungardt; Martin Luther King; 110 year old nun; Toddler miracle; Letter from undocumented immigrant; health care; immigration

Jan. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Mary helps us share; Tighe donates home to Birthright; Pro-life billboard; Theobald Hattrup; Helen and Steve Eck; Pearl Harbor; Reigning Grace

Dec. 18, 2017

KEYWORDS: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2016; Pope Francis Christmas schedule; 2016 high school youth rally; Aerospace engineer; Father Stanley Rother; Radio station; Dying girl's letter; Scout nominations; 12 days of Christmas

Dec. 4, 2016

KEYWORDS: Vocations Day; Pope Advent advice; Ex-prostitute; Spearville mission; Pilgrims v. Zombies; Face of God; Mission bazaar; Ness City fall festival; Rural health care; Archbishop Gomez; Bishops congratulate Trump

Nov. 20, 2016

Nov. 6, 2016

Oct. 23, 2016

Oct. 9, 2016


Sept. 25, 2016


Sept. 11, 2016

 
Aug. 7, 2016

July 10, 2016

June 12, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 8, 2016


 April 24, 2016

 April 10, 2016

 March 27, 2016

March 13, 2016

Feb. 28, 2016

 

Feb. 14, 2016


Jan. 31 , 2016

Jan. 17, 2016

Dec. 20, 2015

Dec. 6, 2015

Nov. 15, 2015

Nov. 1, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Oct. 4, 2015

Sept. 20, 2015

Sept. 6, 2015

August 9, 2015

July 12, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 3, 2015

April 19, 2015

Easter, 2015

 

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