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 the parable challenges us to see Christ 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 to the Justice and Peace office with a copy of your driver's license and insurance information (explained on the form) prior to driving. 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.
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 -- this year they will be on the 30th of June, 21nd of July, and the 18th of August and we will hold each fiesta at a different camp after Mass.
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.
Diana Velosa, Adriana Ruiz, Carla Mejia and Vicky Carillo 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 Diana ([email protected]) or sign-up below. 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 7:30am and 9:30am Masses but definitely before 11:30am due to time needed to transport the food. 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 the Office of Justice and Peace at St. Francis of Assisi or Bruce Cartier at [email protected] or 919-900-0452.
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
|| Bruce Cartier