Originally Published by the Rio Grande Guardian (Re-posted with Permission)
By Steve Taylor
Around 50 churchgoers from various denominations held a Sunrise Prayer Service alongside a section of the border wall in Hidalgo on Saturday.
They prayed and sang hymns for nations, national leaders, including President Trump, law enforcement and peace officers and for the humanitarian treatment of immigrants.
“There is so much unease and unrest in our community. We hear it in our churches, through our pastors, and from our neighbors. Sometimes we feel helpless. But, we shouldn’t. There are things that we can do. The one thing we can do is pray,” said San Juanita Sanchez, one of the organizers of the prayer service.
Sanchez is mayor of San Juan. However, for this event she spoke as a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in San Juan and as a member of the Oblate Associates of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Sanchez said the prayer service had the blessing of Bishop Daniel Flores.
“What we can do is gather in solidarity, as a community of members from various churches and pray for our nation, pray for our president, for our law enforcement, and of course, for a humanitarian resolution to this immigration issue,” Sanchez said.
“We offer these prayers in the hope that the folks in Washington can understand that when it comes to immigration. we see the faces, we know the families, we know their names. We want Washington to know that when they pass a law, it affects families, it affects human beings, people who are part of our community.”
Asked why the parishioners chose to pray alongside the border wall, Sanchez said: “This is where the immigrants that decide to come to the United States, make their transitions. This is where our government wants to put their personnel. This is where the wall we keep hearing about is going to be built. We come to areas where we see division, by means of a wall. But we also come to see that there are no walls when it comes to unity and prayer.”
Four petitions were offered. The song accompanying the prayers for the nation’s leaders was Sumerjeme. The song accompanying the prayers for all nations was Porque Tengo Miedo. The song accompanying the prayers for law enforcement and peace officers was Un Dia a La Vez. The song accompanying the prayers for the humanitarian treatment of all immigrants was Alaba a Dios.