Magazine
Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ

  "They’re like us. They’re human beings. They have hopes. They have dreams.”
On the Frontiers – Lives on the Border

"They’re like us. They’re human beings. They have hopes. They have dreams.”

These words are at the heart of Jesuit Fr. Sean Carroll’s work with migrants on the U.S.-Mexican border in Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Father Carroll is executive director of the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). Along with six faith-based organizations that founded KBI in 2009, he accompanies migrants, educates communities on both sides of the border, and collaborates in networks that engage in research and advocacy to transform local, regional, and national immigration policies.

In May, this work led Fr. Carroll to the Midwest, where he highlighted KBI’s mission on visits to several Jesuit institutions. He gave a presentation to parishioners at Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee, as well as a talk at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago with Jesuit Connections, a speaker series the Midwest Jesuits and Charis sponsor for young adults. Father Carroll also went to several Jesuit universities and high schools to speak with students, some of whom have personal experience with the issues KBI addresses.

IN THE MIDWEST, 
FR. SEAN CARROLL, SJ, VISITED
• 400 high school students
• 100 young adults & parishioners
• 75 university students
• 45 university faculty/staff
• 25 Jesuits in formation

KBI’s efforts come at a vital time. In its most recent annual report, more than one-third of deported migrants interviewed were found to have suffered some type of abuse or mistreatment at the hands of U.S. immigration authorities. In 2015, KBI served 42,998 meals, sheltered 482 women and children, and offered medical aid to 3,532 migrants. Father Carroll has testified before Congress on U.S. immigration policy, but his time in the Midwest emphasized the lives behind immigration debates.

“When people get to know the migrant man, woman, and child in our midst and to hear their story, they recognize their humanity,” said Fr. Carroll. “They cherish it, they value it, and I think that sharing and that encounter opens their hearts in a powerful way. They look at this issue of migration with all its complexity in a new way, because they think of it in terms of these persons.” 

This sense of encounter with real people was the main takeaway for Lauren O’Gara and Andrew Hong, two Chicago teachers who volunteer with Charis and attended Fr. Carroll’s Jesuit Connections talk.

            
Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ, guides migrants in a reflection and pre-meal blessing at KBI’s soup kitchen in Mexico. 
(Photo courtesy of KBI)


“Most of my students are either undocumented, or their parents are,” said O’Gara. “So I’ve heard their testimonies. It was nice to hear what an organization with power and connections is doing to advocate for them.”

 “When Fr. Sean was going into what [migrants] were fleeing from, you begin to get a deeper understanding of the motives,” added Hong. “For people who are not being impacted by gangs who are threatening our lives and burning our houses down, it allows us to really connect with them as human beings, as opposed to policy points.” 


To learn more about KBI, visit http://www.kinoborderinitiative.org.

To learn about Jesuit Connections, visit www.charis.org/jesuitconnections.

Click here for the Summer 2016 Jesuits magazine index.





Recent News

June 22, 2020 — Through this examen, we will start the work of antiracism by examining how systemic racism influences our lives and how we practice the sin of racism.

June 19, 2020 —The Society of Jesus is proud to announce the ordination of 15 new priests in Canada, the United States and Haiti this calendar year.

June 15, 2020 — Mornings at Pope Francis Center start just after 6 a.m. The skeleton crew of workers line up to have their temperature checked, then they change into work clothes.

Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, Fifth Bishop of Youngstown, OH, dies at 71.

June 8, 2020 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Br. Edward C. Gill, SJ, who died on June 6, 2020, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 86 years old. May he rest in peace.

May 28, 2020 — The global pandemic has forced everyone to go digital. Spiritual direction — confidential, guided discernment of God — has not stopped. Rather, just like the persons who employ the Exercises, spiritual direction has pivoted online.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2020

Jesuits Fall Winter 2019

Jesuits Summer 2019



Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House
The Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House is located on the shores of Lake De Montreville in Lake Elmo, Minn.