June 5, 2018, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and Border Patrol agents raided two Corso’s Flower and Garden Center locations in Sandusky and Castalia, Ohio and made 114 arrests. Dozens of the workers’ children were left stranded at day care centers and with babysitters, the Associated Press reported.
Sister Mary E. Wendeln, a DOJ accredited representative, who works in Cincinnati, sent an article from The Washington Post to Sister Martha Bertke to inform her of the above-mentioned news. When Sister Martha, who worked at a parish in Sandusky for 17 years, heard of this immigration raid, she immediately took action to see if somehow she could assist with this heart-wrenching situation. After making contacts with people directly involved, she learned that St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Norwalk, Ohio, south of Sandusky, is providing assistance and care for the 60-70 children left without parents. Church leaders are coordinating with various organizations, justice groups, lawyers, etc. and accepting donations of all kinds.
Any monetary donations will be placed in their accounts and used as it is needed. Remaining funds will be used to offset attorney fees for costs associated with their pro bono work and also for long-term needs. Long-term needs may include providing financial assistance to families to travel to work, or for rent and/or utilities. Future needs of the children and families who remain in the community are being assessed at this time. Assistance will be coordinated with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and other organizations.
Dialoging with people, listening to national news, reflecting and praying all motivated Sister Martha to contact the leaders of the Sisters of the Precious Blood and request a monetary donation. It was decided to give a donation, and it has been sent to St. Paul’s Church and they are very grateful. This is one way we, Sisters of the Precious Blood, can “stand with the marginalized” and share some of our financial resources with those in need. Families affected by ICE detainment and deportation are our neighbors. Let us continue to pray for these individuals and their families affected and for those who provide pastoral care to the people involved. May our country find a better and more moral way of dealing with these issues.
By Sister Martha Bertke
Assembly Directive: Stand with the marginalized