Ursuline Sister Jacinta Powers to serve refugees at the border

While working at a medical clinic in Memphis, Tenn., 10 years ago, Ursuline Sister of Mount Saint Joseph (Ky.) Jacinta Powers explained why she enjoyed serving the poor.

“Where God wants you is where passion and need intersect,” she said. “I’m always happy serving the poor.”

Sister Jacinta is taking that opportunity again. On Jan. 10, 2020, she departed for Brownsville, Texas, to spend six months making a daily trek across the Mexican border to serve refugees awaiting asylum hearings.

In 2019, the Trump administration ended asylum protections for most Central American migrants. Asylum seekers who first pass through another country are ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border. There are exceptions to the rule, but refugees must wait on the Mexican side of the border for their asylum hearings, which can take months.

Sister Jacinta spent Dec. 11-21, 2019 with Ursuline Sister of Youngstown Norma Raupple and some medical students on a “Bridges at the Border” experience serving these refugees. It convinced her to make a more permanent investment of her skills as a nurse.

“Pope Francis and the Gospels say, ‘These are the voiceless people, they have no one,’” she said. “I can join a group to use my God-given talents and what the Ursulines have taught me to help where I can.”

She will be working with volunteer doctors and nurses at the Global Rescue Management clinic.

“We need a lot of prayers,” Sister Jacinta said. “We want people to know the Ursulines stand with refugees.”