Participants in a 2018 spirituality workshop in Bogotá.

 

The United States is not the only country struggling with immigration issues. Missionaries in Colombia are sponsoring a workshop this weekend to talk about immigrant issues there, where refugees from Venezuala are flooding across the border.

The Missionaries of the Precious Blood in Colombia are helping to coordinate a workshop on Precious Blood spirituality and immigration issues, according to Fr. Jose Deardorff, C.PP.S., director of the mission.

As many as 100 people are expected to attend the workshop, which will be held on Saturday at St. Xavier University in Bogota.

The Missionaries’ Center for Reconciliation is sponsoring the event, along with the university, which is providing two professors who will give two of the three sessions. The topic is on a lot of people’s minds, Fr. Deardorff said, as people from Venezuela flood into Colombia and many other Latin American countries, fleeing unstable conditions.

“There’s a lot of conflict surrounding this issue,” he said. “There’s a lot of tension with new people moving in. With some, the perception is that they are taking the jobs of the people who already live here, even though that’s simply not true.”

The workshop will deliver the message that “we need to accept them as our brothers and sisters,” Fr. Deardorff said. “In a sense, we’re all migrants. Colombia has one of the highest populations in the world of displaced people, because of 50 years of guerilla warfare. People here understand migration.”

The workshop will help people talk about the issue. “We’ll look at it through the prism of Precious Blood spirituality, and we hope to come up with a commitment among ourselves of what we can do to help,” he said.

Assisting with organizing the workshop are many lay associates of the C.PP.S., who are also expected to attend the event.