El Paso bishop visits migrant shelters in Juarez

Border Report

Mark J. Seitz meets pastors, volunteers coping with overflow

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) ⁠— The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso visited Juarez migrant shelters this week to see the work that goes on in there and inquire about needs.

“It is good that he came to see the work that we’re doing, to meet with our migrants and to ask about our needs,” said Juan Fierro, pastor of the Good Shepherd Methodist temple, who runs a shelter at the foot of the Juarez mountains.

The shelter just a few months ago was severely overcrowded, with migrants sleeping on the floor and a “No Vacancy” sign at the gates. The migrant population has gone down since Mexico cracked down on migrant caravans coming from Central America, but the shelter built to accommodate 40 people still has more than 120 occupants.

“We are working on an auxiliary shelter across the street. The work is going very slow, but we expect it to be ready by Sept. 24. Right now, we’re working on the pipes and the floors,” Fierro said.

Methodist pastor Juan Fierro (right) shows El Paso Catholic Bishop Mark J. Seitz the building that will become an auxiliary shelter for migrants from Central America and other countries. (Courtesy Hope Border Institute)

A number of El Paso churches and visiting congregations from the interior of the United States that have visited the Juarez shelter, brought food and other donations. Fierro said Seitz said he, too, would help if he was able.

“People have been very generous. Right now we’re looking for linens, towels, shoes and sandals, cleaning and personal hygiene items,” the pastor said.

Seitz was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday. A tweet by the Hope Border Institute, which is based on the El Paso Diocese grounds, said the bishop visited various shelters.

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