About 1 million residents of Cook County (where Cabrini Retreat Center is located) have full or partial Mexican origins, giving greater Chicago the third largest ethnic Mexican population of any county in the U.S. It was a logical choice then, for the Archdiocesan Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity to host the one-mile pilgrimage symbolizing Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem traveling from place to place seeking rest and shelter, also known as posada* as a way to call attention to the need for immigration reform.
On December 13, that office sponsored its 14th Annual Posada in downtown Chicago. Sr. Cathy Fedewa from Cabrini Retreat Center, joined pilgrims who began outside the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Center with a multi-lingual recitation of the rosary. The procession moved to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where travelers heard about the number of arrests and detentions of immigrants in and around Chicago. They then moved to Federal Plaza where the need for legislative reform was emphasized. Moving on to DePaul University a reminder of the precariousness of the DACA policies was reiterated. The final stop where Joseph and Mary “found room in the inn” was the Franciscan parish of St. Peter’s in Chicago’s Loop, a place of welcome and celebration for the travelers, and an expression of the ever lingering hope for reform.
* “A posada is a cherished Advent tradition, particularly for Latino communities, in anticipation of Christ’s birth,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “Just as Mary and Joseph journeyed, today’s migrants are vulnerable and often meet prejudice while seeking safety and acceptance. Yet, like the Holy Family, they witness to the love of God in ways that we would otherwise miss. May we have open hearts to welcome and help our brothers and sisters in their search for asylum, knowing that Christ, the coming One, reveals himself through them.”