Vigil at the Arizona State Capitol

As darkness settled on Phoenix, Arizona on October 13, 2012, members of Franciscan Action Network (FAN) held a candlelight vigil at the state capitol to pray for immigration reform together with members of Promise Arizona, an immigrant group. Because Arizona is notorious for anti-immigrant laws and activities, over 60 FAN members and staff gathered for a retreat and working session at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale,  agreed it was imperative to support Arizona immigrants in a public way.

Franciscan men and women, religious, secular and lay, from around the country,  formed a large circle with some members of Promise Arizona around a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, revered and loved by immigrants from the south.  FAN led  prayer composed of scripture and Franciscan readings, with petitions for DREAMers, for all immigrants and refugees, and for a change of heart for those engaged in anti-immigrant actions, especially in Arizona.  Promise Arizona sang religious songs and spoke to the group about their experiences.  An image that stayed with FAN members was that of a woman kneeling on the rough cement while leading a rosary before Our Lady of Guadalupe.  One of the Franciscan friars took his jacket and placed it under her knees.

Promise Arizona invited the FAN group to come back to Phoenix for a celebration when comprehensive immigration reform is passed.   We look forward to accepting this invitation in the not too distant future.  Although this group of immigrants thanked FAN for their support, it was FAN members who were deeply grateful for the commitment, courage and witness to hope of these men and women who suffer every day from anti-immigrant laws and attitudes.

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Published in: on October 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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