A Message From Bishop M. Traquair

JUNE 6, 2023

Dear Friends:
As you may be aware, last Friday, June 2, a private jet carrying 16 Venezuelan and Colombian migrants arrived in Sacramento. They were subsequently bussed to the offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese, where they were left stranded. Staff there contacted Sacramento ACT – Area Congregations Together, who took responsibility for their immediate needs. As a supporting congregation of SacACT, Trinity Cathedral immediately joined in the effort to help. Since last Friday, the cathedral, and our diocese, have been deeply engaged in helping these migrants find shelter, clothing, food, and other necessities.
Yesterday, another plane carrying 20 additional migrants from Venezuela, Colombia, and Guatemala, arrived in Sacramento. We now know that both flights originated in El Paso, Texas, where these individuals were lured with a promise of work. Much like the migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard last September, these individuals boarded a plane under false pretenses, only to become pawns in political theatre. Having applied for asylum in Texas, all of the individuals are in the country legally, and are entitled to legal protection and due process guaranteed by the Constitution.
There has been much political rhetoric and blaming since their arrival. The California Attorney General is actively investigating these incidents, and The Governor has engaged in a war of words with those likely responsible. As a faith community, we have, and will, continue to respond in the way of love. We are called to be good neighbors, to care for these individuals who were dropped at our doorstep with no recourse.
This morning, Trinity Cathedral hosted a press conference focused on the faith response to the plight of these individuals. Hosted by Dean Matthew Woodward, the conference included remarks by Canon Julie Wakelee, Trinity Parishioner Shireen Miles, and Sacramento Mayor Darrel Steinberg. I was unable to be there, but was ably represented by Canon Julie.
The future of the asylum-seekers is uncertain. What is certain is that we will continue to join our brothers and sisters of other faith traditions to meet the challenges ahead. We are blessed to find ourselves in the company of those who have stepped up to meet the needs of these new neighbors, who didn’t ask to be sent here.
The needs of our new neighbors will be great, and there are many who have joined in caring for them. As a diocese, we are committed to serve for the long-haul. I have directed funds from my discretionary funds to Dean Matthew, who will ensure they go directly to these migrants in need. I invite you to do the same by giving here: https://onrealm.org/TrinityCathedral/-/form/give/DeansDiscFund
Finally, please keep these asylum-seekers in your prayers. And please pray for the many volunteers and faith groups that have joined together to address these needs.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Megan M. Traquair