Greetings and gratitude for your willingness to serve our migrant brothers who work the farm fields of North Carolina every summer.
For many years, St. Francis parishioners have been ministering to the farm workers by picking them up on Sunday in their camps and transporting them to and from Mass at Our Lady of Rosary in the town of Louisburg. We also share a fiesta meal with them once a month, and we periodically take them to the store so they can buy some basic supplies.
Through this ministry, we live out the mission of our parish by offering hope to those who hunger for a more dignified life. We believe in the power of Matthew chapter 25 where Jesus challenges us to see him in each person we encounter, especially the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the stranger, the prisoner, the migrant. In all that we do, despite the language and cultural barriers that divide us, we share the love of Christ who sought out the marginalized of his time and walked with them in mercy and solidarity. It is also our prayer that you learn more about immigration, migration, and agriculture in North Carolina through this experience.
If you have a few minutes and are interested in this important issue of seasonal and migrant farm work, check this 30 minute award-winning and super informative 2011 documentary about North Carolina farm workers – Harvest of Dignity. I would strongly encourage you to watch this before volunteering.
This ministry is a vital and transformational ministry that helps us live out our parish mission of “offering HOPE to those who hunger for human dignity.”
Please sign-up for one of the Sunday driver slots. If you are a veteran driver, please sign-up for one of the lead slots.
There is a requirement for drivers to fill out a Ministry Driver Information and Liability Insurance Acknowledgment form. Please fill out and sign the form and return it, with a copy of your driver's license and proof of insurance, to the Migrant Ministry mail slot in the welcome center in the church building where the receptionist sits or mail it back to St. Francis with attention to the Justice and Peace office. You could also take a picture of the signed form, your DL and proof of insurance, and email the pictures to MaryLou Holloway at [email protected] Please do this before you are scheduled to drive. Thank you so much! Here is a link to the form:
All drivers meet at 11:15 AM at the Food Lion Shopping Center on US401 just north of the I-540 exit - 7440 Louisburg Rd #101, Raleigh, NC 27616. The shopping center is on your right and we meet on the north end of the parking lot (just behind the Wendy's parking lot). It's about 14 miles from St. Francis Church. Note that the farm workers love cold soda and snacks. So each driver can bring a cooler and some snacks with them to give to any men that come in their car. Please don't feel obligated to do this, but it is a welcoming touch as the men really enjoy it.
A lead driver is assigned each week who will gather the group in prayer and orientation before the group heads off to the migrant camps.
The caravan of drivers then drives to a variety of migrant camps to pick up any migrant workers who wish to go to Mass. The group of drivers and migrant workers then attend a 1:00pm Spanish Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary in Louisburg. After Mass, we return the drivers to their camps. If requested, there might be a pit-stop at a local store for the migrant workers to buy some supplies.
The volunteers are usually done by 4:00pm
We also do "fiestas" three weekends during the summer. These are scheduled for July 24, August 21 and September 11.
If you drive these weekends, you will have the opportunity to stay after Mass and enjoy the food and the camaraderie with the workers. On Fiesta Sundays, volunteers are usually done no later than 4pm.
Adriana Ruiz and Vicky Carillo have graciously agreed to coordinate the fiestas and need volunteers to help make (and/or serve) food and donate paper products, etc. If you would like to do this either in addition to or instead of driving, contact Adriana ([email protected]). And you can sign up below to bring supplies.
Perishable prepared dishes can be dropped off in the refrigerator just off the Founders Room in the church building during fiesta weekends, after the Saturday 5:30pm and Sunday 7:15 am and 9:00 am Masses. They will be picked up by 10:30 am. Non-perishable items can be dropped off in the same area. Please make sure all items are clearly labeled for use by Migrant Ministry.
We look forward to seeing you this summer. If there are any questions, concerns, or feedback for making this ministry better, feel free to contact MaryLou Holloway at [email protected] or the office of Justice and Peace, Becky Cawley at [email protected] or 919-847-8205 x 267
Location: Food Lion - 7440 Louisburg Rd #101, Raleigh, NC 27616
Behind Wendy's in the Food Lion Shopping Center 7440 Louisburg Rd #101, Raleigh, NC 27616
|| MaryLou Holloway