What can I do to respond to migrants and their needs?

The following text is from a brochure published by the North American Migration Committee. Links to the brochures in English, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese, along with accompanying letters, are available at the end of this page.

More than ever before, we are aware that there are countless migrants in every part of the world. They are fleeing from danger, from ecological devastation, from tyranny and oppression. Life is so unbearable that it is preferable to abandon their homes and risk the unknown in search for a place to live safely and with dignity. We invite you to turn your mind and heart to Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan who crossed the road to care for his neighbor who was beaten, robbed, and abandoned. As followers of Jesus, who teaches us that every human being is our neighbor claiming our love and attentiveness, how do we respond to the suffering of migrants among us searching for a place to belong? How does the Parable of the Good Samaritan call us to go further than just to say a prayer for the faceless and nameless mass of migrants?

Pope Francis identified migration as the greatest challenge of our time. We, as Dehonians, have tried to find various ways to respond to those most in need and to challenge each other to act on what we observe. Yet, we were not ready to be so disturbed by what we saw. We still are searching for ways to help migrants reclaim the dignity taken from them. So we want to share how we started our journey.

We chose a very traditional process called “SEE, JUDGE, and ACT”. This model, common in Catholic Social Teaching, has helped many of us to analyze and act upon what we observe. Those who take this journey often experience a change of mind and heart.

It is imperative that we remember that we enter this process as followers of Jesus. That is why it is important to begin with prayer, especially Prayer to the Holy Spirit. We pray that we may know God’s will and act with a love that has its roots in the Heart of Jesus.


Realizing your response begins by knowing what is true.

Meet a migrant in your area. Listen to his/her story. Try to understand the pain, frustrations, and courage of this person.

Share the history of your own family arriving in North America. What were their struggles and what were their hopes for the future? What helped them to make this country their home?


Why are migrants forced to leave their homes? What are the root causes? As we try to understand what is happening, we begin to engage in social analysis to arrive at an informed judgement.

Helpful resources include (click on the desired link):

Why Don’t They Just Get In Line? 
Message Of His Holiness Pope Francis For The 106th World Day Of Migrants And Refugees 2020
Read Laudato Si’ on the Care of our Common Home (LS 52 and 91)


Prayerfully look again at the Parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke Ch10) Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Let the unconditional love of the Sacred Heart be your model. Our actions might seem so limited but there are ways each one of us can make a difference.

Possible actions for you to consider:

Get to know a migrant family. Experience their culture and even learn some of their language. Offer to help them learn your culture and language. Sponsor/adopt a migrant family. Learn about migrant services in your community. Use your voice as a citizen to advocate for more humane migration policies. Offer your time and financial resources to agencies working with migrants.

Helpful resources include (click on the desired link):

Your local Catholic Charities website.
Dehonian Social Justice
Archdiocese of Chicago: this is perhaps the best web page available regarding Ministry to Migrants.
This link brings you to the methodology of SEE, JUDGE, and ACT. This will be valuable to get you started.

Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ

Click here to learn more about Sr. Norma’s ministry.

Consider donating to her ministry:

Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ
700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd. 
P.O. Box 1306
San Juan, TX 78589

To receive her “needs list”: 956-702-4088

To help us journey with migrants we pray:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

The materials on this page were prepared by the North American Migration Committee of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians). The text is available as a brochure at the links below (or at the top of the page). 

Cover photo is by Veronica Cardenas, from her exhibit “traveling soles”. She has graciously donated her copyright fee in solidarity with Sister Norma’s ministry


English (letter)       French (letter)       Indonesian (letter)     

Portuguese (letter)       Spanish (letter)       Vietnamese (letter)

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