For sixteen years, Friar Phillip LEY of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation in the USA (OLC) has run the Posada Guadalupe Shelter in San Antonio, Texas. This shelter was established to provide housing and other services (e.g. medical, educational, etc.) to young men without official documentation.
In the past, these young men were usually from Mexico and Central America, but in recent times, the Posada Guadalupe Shelter has also hosted residents from Ukraine, Senegal and Venezuela. The shelter can accommodate eighteen residents, and they all speak of the conditions from which they came (crime, oppressive governments, few economic possibilities, gang violence, etc.).
One of the recent challenges has been to care for residents with serious medical problems (e.g. two residents who each had to have a leg amputated, one due to a fall from a train while arriving in the United States). The shelter largely depends upon donations from its benefactors and volunteer workers to provide its services.
This initiative is one of many by the friars of this Province to serve the people who have few rights and opportunities in today’s world. In El Paso, Texas, Friar Jarosław WYSOCZAŃSKI works with various social service agencies to volunteer his services for recently arrived migrants. At the OLC retreat center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico, Friar Thomas SMITH, the director of the retreat program, organizes accommodations in the retreat center for immigrants seeking refugee status. In Louisville, Kentucky, Friar Mark WEAVER works with a community that includes numerous undocumented immigrants.
Friar Jude WINKLER