Dear Community of the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center:
This March, we have continued to pray with our Lenten theme of sanctuary. After our peace vigil, we were honored to listen to the mother of our sanctuary family share her testimony of migration alongside another woman who crossed the border many years before. We also shared dinner and discussion with Jesuit Volunteers and Mercy Corps Volunteers on the human reality of migration and the role it plays in our faith.
Importantly, for the last few weeks, we have also been intensely focused on finding safe and secure housing for our sanctuary family. The deadline to receive a stipend towards an apartment expires on March 29. Thankfully, there is a promising lead for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, but still, the housing is not guaranteed until a few more important pieces come together.
Throughout this process, I have been struck by a few things. I have been amazed at the level of coordination happening across parishes, networks and NGOs as we all make a concerted effort to support the family in this crucial step towards independence. I’m also amazed at the considerable amount of uncertainty that exists amidst all of our collective resources. As I accompany our family, I am struck by the surprising joy, persistence and resilience that bubbles up through the stressful situation they are in. The children always invite me into what is happening here and now; they invite me into relationship and real engagement, and they remind me what sanctuary is about: cherishing the life that we have, which is so vulnerable and precious at the same time. The family’s ability to flex and adapt is also quite something. They challenge us to work hard, to take risks, but also to trust in a God who pays special attention to those most in need.
As we approach Holy Week, please join me in praying in a special way for our sanctuary family. We pray that the family can secure this wonderful housing opportunity. We pray in thanksgiving for who they are and who they have invited us to be: a community that is responsive, welcoming, steadfast and faithful.
This Lent, we are also aware of our great need of bread for the journey and pray wholeheartedly with the psalm proclaimed this Sunday: “A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.” Join us in the many gatherings we have planned for the rest of March: Simone Campbell’s special talk on her theology of abundance, a Spirituality of Relationships Retreat, Taize prayer on sanctuary, and the many ongoing programs we have for spiritual growth and nourishment.
In peace and gratitude,