100 immigrant women, faith leaders, domestic workers, and immigrants’ rights activists embarked on a 100-mile pilgrimage on foot from Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. They hope to get the message across to Pope Francis, that immigration should be at the forefront of his address to Congress.
Juana Flores, one of the marchers, explained that they are starting their pilgrimage at a detention center in order to spread, “stories from a site of human suffering to the Pope with a message of human dignity.”
Following the marchers arrival on September 22, they will participate in a vigil and candlelight procession at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
They will join millions of pilgrims, in Washington D.C, eager to hear the Pope speak in front of Congress. He is expected to continue his legacy as the “Migrant Pope” and share a message of love for migrants around the world. It is hoped, that his address, will spark a greater debate on immigration and lead to the greater protection of immigrants by U.S. policy.
“Our world is far from what we are called to create, but we hope that each step on our pilgrimage is another step closer to it. Though global migration is a hallmark of our times, it is still marked by fearful reception, capsized boats and harrowing desert crossings. But Pope Francis places today’s migrants in the legacy of the holy family during their escape from Herod into Egypt and he tells us not to lose hope. Far from losing hope, we are filled with it. With each step, with each mile, with each of our stories, we will arrive in the nation’s capital the night before the Pope’s meeting with President Obama and we will be there eager to hear his message.”