Hoo-boy, what a week!
First, the best news. Today I went with our two guys from Iglesia de San Romero to see their detention officer. We were afraid they were going to have to wear the gps ankle bracelets that help the powers that be keep track of where they are, but because I was able to tell them that the church could pay for a land line in their house, they don’t have to have the indignity and pain in the neck of that (the ankle bracelets involve having to be plugged in to the wall for three hours a day to recharge – every day, sitting by the wall for three hours) – now they have to stay home one night a week and wait for a phone call, a much better situation. Thanks very much to our (anonymous by choice) donor whose recent check will cover that completely.
The other piece of good news is that the system is currently so slow that they are not likely to actually see a judge until 2013.
Okay, that was the good news. The bad news, and it’s not so bad, is that they also have to go to Buffalo every other Tuesday to check in, until they see the judge. If you’re interested in helping with the driving every now and then, kindly drop me a note.
We are also still looking for people who might be willing to put up at least $1,000 in a hurry, should more arrests happen. Another piece of good news is that if instead of being on that list you would like to make a donation to the bail fund, you can make a (tax deductible) check out to St. Joseph’s Hospitality with a note that it’s for the St. Romero’s bail fund, and mail it to St Joe’s at PO Box 31049, Rochester NY 14603.
The other bad news is simply that although we are able to accompany these friends in their walk through the system, the system still stinks! – not only the laws in our country, but the situation of poverty in Mexico that drove them to come here in the first place. But, not to lose heart – God is so much greater than our broken human systems. Get close to God, listen, say yes, and get busy healing the world. There’s a lot of work to do!
We met a whole bunch of wonderful workers for the healing of the world this weekend in Las Vegas, of all places! Five of us from St Joe’s were there at a National Catholic Worker Gathering. One of the people we met was Gustavo, a gay man from Mexico. He was in this country without documents for fifteen years until the church that was helping him get legal found out he was gay. They dropped him immediately and he ended up being deported. Currently he’s in the US on a religious worker visa and is traveling the country, speaking about his Catholic Worker house, Casa Colibrí, in Jalisco Mexico. HE WILL BE HERE NOVEMBER 2 – we don’t have a plan yet for a speaking time, but please save the date!
Oh, another bit of good news. Harry Murray, Tom Malthaner, Joe Lavoie and I were arrested, along with 55 other Catholic Workers and friends, for trespass at the Nevada Test Site on Sunday (right about the time people were gathering at St Romero’s!) Later in the day, 18 people were arrested for blocking traffic at the Creech Airforce base, protesting the drones that are deployed from there. Harry says that getting arrested at the test site is so easy and painless these days that it doesn’t count as civil disobedience! – but the 18 arrested at Creech face more serious consequences. Hooray for our sisters and brothers, putting their well-being on the line for the well-being of all.
We hope to see you this weekend at our Visioning Day, 10 am Sat Oct 15 (until 12 or so) – at the bakery, 220 Mt Hope Ave (the former Savory Thyme building). There is an exciting new possibility for us, of connecting with the Federation of Christian Ministries (of which I am a member) and being able to be covered by their 501 ( c) (3) without going through lawyers and all that. The FCM is the organization that certifies me and lots of other priests-on-the-margins so that we are legal to do weddings, etc... it is also a wonderful network of like-spirited people. We’ll talk about it on Saturday... hope you can come.
So, like I said...Hoo-boy, what a week! Thanks be to God.
Blessings and love to all,