Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration answer emergency call for help at southern border


LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Members of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are answering an emergency call for help at the southern border. A team of five is headed to Arizona to volunteer at a center for immigrants.

Of all the bags that pass through the La Crosse Regional Airport, few are packed for a journey of faith. “For any of us sisters I think it’s a response and call, and something you feel in your heart for folks,” says Sister Theresa Keller.

Keller and Sisters Kristen Peters and Rose Elsbernd, along with  FSPA justice and peace promoter, Pat Ruda, are headed to Tucson.  They are answering an emergency call from Catholic Charities thelp care for the growing number of families and children seeking asylum.

“The treatment of children at the border or even our immigrant brothers and sisters; this is nonpartisan,” Ruda says.

The team from the La Crosse-based order will help provide medical care, distribute clothing and meals, and offer prayer.

“Any time people are suffering, I would hope that we as a community would be attentive to that. And if we can help out in any matter, we should choose to do it,” Elsbernd says.

Communities of Catholic sisters nationwide are calling on Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.  These women believe action starts with them.

“To see the dignity of a person and to respect the dignity of a person is always essential.  That definitely a part there,” Elsbernd says.

Part of the sisters’ journey is to learn more about immigration, and to provide care and comfort to families and children on a journey of their own. “There is definitely a need,” Keller says.

The FSPA team will also spend some time at a center in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. They will return to La Crosse May 9.