Mass to pray for migrants who died in Arizona’s desert

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Walt Staton of Tucson, Ariz., Dane Rossman of New Jersey, and Jimmy Wells, of Tucson, volunteers with the humanitarian group No More Deaths, map out their Sept. 4, 2007, search for illegal immigrants left behind by their smugglers in the Sonoran Desert near the U.S.-Mexican border. (J.D. Long-Garcia, Catholic Sun file photo)

Walt Staton of Tucson, Ariz., Dane Rossman of New Jersey, and Jimmy Wells, of Tucson, volunteers with the humanitarian group No More Deaths, map out their Sept. 4, 2007, search for illegal immigrants left behind by their smugglers in the Sonoran Desert near the U.S.-Mexican border. (J.D. Long-Garcia, Catholic Sun file photo)

A Jan. 11 Mass at St. Timothy Parish in Mesa is being held to pray for the repose of the souls of 750 unidentified migrants who died in Arizona’s Sonora Desert between 2001 and 2013.

All told, more than 2,000 people have died in the Arizona desert during that timeframe.

According to No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization dedicated to assisting migrants and raising awareness about their plight, annual deaths in Arizona’s desert climb into the hundreds. Increased enforcement and militarization of the border has led to migrants crossing the desert’s more rugged terrain, leading to thousands of deaths since 2001.

Mass for Migrants

When: 8:30 a.m.
Where: St. Timothy Parish, 1730 W. Guadalupe Road, Mesa.
More info: Tom McCabe at (480) 899-4985. 

 The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated Jan. 5-11 as National Migration Week with the theme “Out of the Darkness.”

“Migrants, and particularly the most vulnerable migrants — children, the undocumented, refugees, and victims of human trafficking — often find themselves existing in a kind of figurative darkness where their options remain limited and their ability to live out their lives in its fullness severely restricted,” the USCCB website states. “Often at risk of violence or exploitation, these vulnerable populations need to be provided the support needed so that they can thrive.”

The Jan. 11 Mass at St. Timothy aims to call attention to the suffering and deaths of migrants who died seeking a better life for themselves and their families, organizers said. Tom McCabe, active in the JustFaith ministry at St. Timothy, is hoping local Catholics will unite in prayer for the deceased and their families.

“As a solidarity people, we remember our departed brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray that God will have mercy on their souls and give them rest in heaven,” McCabe said.

 

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