Recently we celebrated a Peace Convoy or “Caravana por la Paz” here in the Columban Parish of Corpus Christi, Rancho Anapra, Ciudad Juarez. To this end we invited the people of the parish to gather at about 5:30 p.m. on the appointed day bringing whatever vehicles were available and if possible decorated with white balloons or streamers.
The parish council had also recommended reaching out to the other Christian churches here in Rancho Anapra, which Leo and I contacted by visiting about 16 of these Christian Fundamentalist churches and their pastors. Some were surprised to see us as they generally maintain a pretty antagonistic attitude to anything Catholic. However, we hastened to reassure them that all were welcome in the Peace Procession because it was an issue that affects all of us … that of the ongoing extreme violence in our city of Ciudad Juarez.
We were a tad concerned about the turnout! Yet again we were proved wrong. Fifty-four vehicles made up the Peace Convoy, which set out with much enthusiasm, broadcasting hymn singing and general peaceful noise inviting all to pray for peace. The Convoy went off without incident and upon arriving at the Chapel of San Juan Diego the column had swollen with vehicles and folks who had decided to join us spontaneously.
Our choir had been transported sometime during the afternoon, so we were able to have a prayer meeting with an abundance of praise hymns, before all retired in peace and satisfaction to their homes with the onset of evening. Juarez becomes at night a bit of a ghost town given the fear and violence. However and please God, we will one day soon be citizens of a city with hope and peace, free from the grim expectation of where the next execution or shoot-out might occur. Please keep up your prayers for us all here on the US-Mexican Border.