Cardinal Cupich to visit migrant centers in RGV

Special to The Valley Catholic

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, who was elevated to the College of Cardinals at the consistory in Rome last November, will be leading a contingent from Chicago to visit two religious sisters in the Diocese of Brownsville on Tuesday, Aug.15.

Catholic Extension, a Chicago-based national fundraising organization that assists churches in America’s poorest places, will host the trip. Cupich serves as chancellor of Catholic Extension and will be joined by members of its board of directors as well as several priests and parishioners from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Cardinal Cupich expressed his desire at a benefit dinner held at the Vatican Museum during the consistory that funds be directed to a border ministry supported by Catholic Extension. One of those ministries is the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, led by Sister Norma Pimentel of the Missionaries of Jesus.

The center provides shelter, clothing and more, mostly to women and children who have been released from detention centers and are awaiting their asylum court hearing.

The funds, which total $100,000, will be presented to Sister Pimentel by Cardinal Cupich at a special gathering at the center. Later in the day, the group plans to visit another shelter, La Posada Providencia in San Benito. This ministry is led by Sister Zita Telkamp, a Sister of Divine Providence, who hosts guests from around the world who are fleeing threats of violence, war, terrorism, hunger or oppression in their home countries.

Catholic Extension has provided periodic funding to this ministry since 2013 to help supplement its modest operating budget. One of the parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago, St. Teresa de Avila, will be raising funds for this ministry. Its pastor, Father Frank Latzko, and several parishioners will be making the trip along with Cardinal Cupich.

An additional $75,000 was raised and dedicated for the construction of a larger church for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hidalgo. Father Mario Avilés will also attend the event.