For immediate Release
Contact: Maria Jose Sandoval
Fifty CASA members to Join Final Leg of 100 Women / 100 Mile Pilgrimage to the Pope
What: Closing Leg of 100 Mile Pilgrimage to the Pope
When: 9:00AM, Tuesday, September 22, 2015, group prays and departs from St. Camillus Catholic Church, 1600 St Camillus Dr., Silver Spring, MD
4:00PM, Tuesday, September 22, 2015, group arrives at Basilica, 400 Michigan Avenue, NE Washington, DC
Who: 150+ women walkers – immigrants and supporters – with the We Belong Together campaign, plus hundreds of members and leaders from partner organizations including the Not1More Campaign, the DC Immigrant Rights Coalition, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, PICO, Interfaith Worker Justice, and local faith leaders.
Visuals: Women holding pilgrimage processional banners, singing songs, praying, speakers with Basilica as backdrop, candles.
When they arrive at the Basilica this Tuesday, 100 women will have walked 100 miles from a detention center in York County, Pennsylvania to Washington, DC carrying stories from a site of human suffering to the Pope with a message of human dignity.The pilgrimage will close its long journey on its last day starting out at a church community that is a beacon of hope for Maryland’s immigrant families, be greeted by women from the labor movement in the afternoon, pray at the Basilica and then hold a closing vigil at McPherson Square.
For the last leg of the journey, fifty CASA leaders will join the pilgrimage as it leaves from St. Camillus Church, a critical institution for immigrant Catholics originating from all corners of the globe and revered for its simultaneous commitment to justice and spiritual teachings. The pilgrimage will wind its way through East Silver Spring, Langley Park, and Takoma Park – some of the deepest strongholds for immigrants in Maryland – before entering the District of Columbia. CASA members will close their participation at a closing ceremony at the Basilica, as the women continue on to McPherson Square.
As the march has winded through areas of the region organized by CASA, CASA members from York, Pennsylvania to Baltimore, Maryland, to the DC suburbs have greeted and participated in each leg. Knit together by the participation of CASA leader Rosario Reyes who joined the entire pilgrimage, twenty-four CASA members joined the kick-off at the York Detention Facility. CASA leader Sandra Cisneros spoke to the crowd emphasizing that practically every CASA committee member in South-Central PA had a relative or friend that had been held in detention in York and the devastating impact that family detention policies had had on their lives.
In Baltimore, the women were welcomed to Charm City at Goucher College by faculty, staff, and the students of Futuro Latino. Twenty CASA members from committees in and around Baltimore joined the pilgrimage for their procession through Baltimore. CASA hosted a mid-day lunch where additional members joined the walkers for their last Baltimore leg from the Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter to an evening program at Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church. Walkers and allies listened to an evening program cosponsored by CASA, OSI Baltimore, and the Central Labor Council that featured a diverse panel of women leaders, including CASA in Action board member Isabel Aguilar and Baltimore Youth For Justice leader Makayla Gillliam-Price, sharing their perspectives on the need for unity and solidarity between Immigrant and African American communities in their common struggle against unjust incarceration and family separation. Five CASA Baltimore members continued walking with the women through Sunday.