DUVALL – As parishioners from Holy Innocents Parish made a pilgrimage through the hilly streets of Duvall September 30, they prayerfully reflected on the challenging journeys faced by refugees and immigrants.
“The stories we heard were serious, but hopeful,” said Mary Beth Babcock, one of three-dozen parishioners who participated in the Share the Journey walk.
The story of immigrant Rocio Martinez is shared with pilgrims from Holy Innocents Parish during a stop on their 1.5-mile Share the Journey walk through Duvall September 30. Photo: Courtesy Lynn DeBrock
The pilgrims carried signs, sang songs (including “God’s Face to the World,” composed by parish music director Norita Barroga-Hulett) and paused at four stations along the 1.5-mile route to hear stories of migrants who journeyed to the U.S. in search of a safer life. Another eight parishioners participated by gathering in the church and praying the rosary.
The pilgrimage, which began and ended at the parish campus, was part of a global show of solidarity with refugees and immigrants through the Share the Journey effort of Catholic Relief Services, as well as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA. Participants in events around the globe have walked more than 55,000 miles in solidarity with migrants and refugees.
The Duvall walk was organized by Holy Innocents parishioner Lynn DeBrock, who is a CRS ambassador at her parish.
“For me, the most exciting part was being able to share stories of some of the immigrants and refugees, detailing what these people have gone through,” DeBrock said.
Participants learned the story of Rocio Martinez, who came to the U.S. from Mexico, got married to a Honduran man and had two children. They’ve lived here more than 20 years, but haven’t been able to get citizenship. The couple have status that allows them to remain in the U.S., but if immigration laws are fully enforced, her husband could be forced to return to Honduras.
Mohamed Shukri Hassan left Somalia was a young child when war broke out. He eventually was able to come to the U.S. and now is an advocate for immigrants and refugees here. Photo: Courtesy Share the Journey/Catholic Relief Services
Another immigrant, Mohamed Shukri Hassan, was just 3 years old his family fled central Somalia after war broke out. After several years in a refugee camp, his mother was allowed to come to the U.S. — but couldn’t bring her children. Eventually, Hassan was able to come to the U.S., where he learned English and now is an advocate for immigrants and refugees here.
Parishioner Amy Oslund said she knew some information about migrants and refugees before making the walk, but viewing their faces and hearing their stories gave her more empathy for their plight.
“I feel very fortunate to live here in such a wonderful country that does give people a lot of opportunities,” Oslund said.