Before the start of this Lenten season, I had the opportunity to share the mission of Taller de José with my neighborhood of South Chicago. Together with another staff member, I went to Immaculate Conception Grade School and presented a project of accompaniment to its students. The project was to invite these students to accompany the clients of Taller de José on their journey through prayer and almsgiving, proper for the season of lent. Each student was given a box to decorate, which will hold prayers and donations collected for the clients of Taller de Jose.
It was important for me to share the mission of Taller de Jose in my neighborhood because it faces similar challenges to those found in immigrant communities, like Little Village. Growing up on the far Southside of Chicago, I encountered many families journeying through difficult and painful situations. Some families were separated because of deportations. Other families were unable to secure a steady, fair employment or obtain student loans for school because of their immigration status. Still, other families were enveloped in a circle of fear because of abuse. These are the same families that Taller de José accompanies on their journey.
I was privileged to have the opportunity to invite others into the mission of Taller de José, particularly those from my community. Through this Lenten project, we shared the mission so that all may be one.