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Remembering that through the centuries Christians have danced as well as sung Christmas carols to celebrate
the birth of love and hope, students circle around Jesus, Mary, Joseph.
El Santo Nio, Prayer for Immigrants and the Vulnerable with Card Writing to Those in Detention.
University of the Incarnate Word Students created and hosted El Santo Nio, Prayer for Immigrants and the
Vulnerable with Card Writing to Those in Detention. The students dramatized Mary and Joseph remembering
that they had been refugees fleeing violence. The students spoke as migrants who had fled from Mexico and
Central America. Jos Rubn De Len, a graduate of the university, shared from his new album Villancicos,
Christmas Carols from Latin America and Spain. The carol El Santo Nino from Puerto Rico says, Mother
standing at our door way is a baby boy so lovely. He is cold and weeping sadly, and his clothes are very
ragged. Then the mother bade him welcome to the fire so bright and glowing. As he warmed himself she asked
him in what country he was reigning. My father is in heaven and my mother lives there too. My life on earth is
given for the sake of you.
Prayers remembered that Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, crossed the border between divinity and humanity to
be among us. Leviticus 19:33-34 was read, When aliens settle with you in your land, you shall not oppress
them. They shall be treated as native born among you, and you shall love them as people like yourselves,
because you were aliens yourselves in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Some of the Sisters attending had

ministered in Peru and witnessed how many parents, desperate for income to support their children, went north
to find work and were not able to be with their children.
Inspired by the project Hope for the Holidays initiated by the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services,
http://lirs.org/hopefortheholidays/ the students had cards and card making supplies so that people could put
their prayer into action by writing cards to families in detention. Students explained the project to write and
distribute holiday cards to 1,700 women and children held in family immigration detention facilities by
Christmas of 2014. . . Over the past year, we have witnessed a stark increase in the number of children and
families fleeing their home countries in Central America to seek protection in the U.S. . . Although a daily
reality for many, feelings of isolation and hopelessness are only intensified during the holiday season. While we
enjoy abundant feasts and celebration, our incarcerated friends remain separated from the love of their family,
the support of their friends, and the comfort of their traditions.
The card writing is continuing with residents of the retirement center, The Village at Incarnate Word. One of
the residents, Sister Consuelo Urrutia wrote to Sister Martha Ann Kirk who was leading the classes working on
the prayer service and card writing, Sister, thanks for keeping us informed of ways we can be present to
people who need our help especially at this BLESSED TIME SO MEANINGFUL
for as Incarnate Word Sisters. I think the idea of sending Christmas Cards to
people who are in prison is so meaningful. It reminds me of WWII when my Dad would take
us to the Camp in Kennedy, Texas, in Karnes County, to visit the Germans and Japanese who were
in prison just because we were at War with them, even though some were American Citizens. Some
Germans were friends of my Father. What we did at the time was take fruit and vegetables and take a list
of what they needed for the following visit. http://www.thc.state.tx.us/preserve/projects-andprograms/military-history/texas-world-war-ii/world-war-ii-japanese-american-0
Matthew 25 reminds us I was in prison and your visited me. Perhaps we can at least send a card.
Below is text of the prayer service
El Santo Nio, Prayer for Immigrants and the Vulnerable
Leader:

God of movement, God of stillness

All:

Calm our hearts so we may recognize your presence with us now. (Pause)

Leader:

Help us to realize that, We are together on the journey. Estamos juntos en el camino.

All:

We are together on the journey, Estamos juntos en el camino.

Leader: Let us listen to the voices of our sisters and brothers.


Victoria Acosta: My name is Paloma. We have left our home because my parents are afraid of the men who
make and sell drugs to people. My family and I have traveled a long way and now we have to walk through the
mountains. I am hot, thirsty, and tired. I am feeling weak and I dont understand why we are doing this. After
Jesus was born, his family had to flee danger. They were refugees in the land of Egypt.
Michael Aleman: I am Miguelito and I am thirteen. I left my home in Durango because when my father
Miguel died I was the man of the house. I saw that mother couldnt do it on her own, so I decided to go to
America so that I can get a job and send money to my sisters.
I jumped on a train with a bunch of other workers. I met an older man who stuck with me until Brownsville.
His name was Jose. After we got off the train we had to cross a desert. It was hot, Jose shared his water with

me so I would not die of thirst. I want to get a job working in the fields so I can send the money to Mama. I
want to be the best picker so I can get paid more and send more money.
Jocelyn Hooper: I left my home in Nicaragua because the opportunities in America are greater. I want to get an
education and help support my family. I traveled here with only the clothes on my back-- jumping on the train.
I packed my journal and bible and water, but nothing else. I know that the Lord is faithful to show mercy and
compassion on all who believe in him.
A la Nanita Nana (Spain) - from Villancicos, Christmas Carols from Latin America and Spain sung by Jos
Rubn De Len* (As the song is sung, Mary, Jesus, and Joseph enter and are seated near the altar. All enter
slowly behind them. They carry colorful flowers. They bow and then place the flowers around the family.)
Prayer: Blessed are You, Lord Jesus Christ.
You crossed every border
between Divinity and humanity to make your home with us.
Help us to welcome you in newcomers,
migrants and refugees.
Blessed are You, God of all nations.
You bless our land richly
with goods of creation
and with people made in your image.
Help us to be good stewards and peacemakers,
who live as your children.
This we pray in Jesus name, Amen.
(Adapted from http://www.ucc.org/justice/immigration/pdfs/Immigration-Prayer-June-2010.pdf)

Scripture: La lectura de Leviticus 19:33-34


Cuando un extranjero resida con vosotros en vuestra tierra, no lo maltrataris. El extranjero que resida con
vosotros os ser como uno nacido entre vosotros, y lo amars como a ti mismo, porque extranjeros fuisteis
vosotros en la tierra de Egipto; yo soy el SEOR vuestro Dios.
When aliens settle with you in your land, you shall not oppress them. They shall be treated as native born
among you, and you shall love them as people like yourselves, because you were aliens yourselves in Egypt. I
am the Lord your God. The word of the Lord.
El Santo Nio (Puerto Rico) sung by Jos Rubn De Len. Mother standing at our door way is a baby boy
so lovely! He is cold and weeping sadly and his clothes are very ragged. Then the mother bade him welcome to
the fire so bright and glowing. As he thawed himself she asked him in what country he was reigning. My
father is in heaven and my mother lives there too. My life on earth is given for the sake of you.
Leader: We remember that there are many ancient legends about people bringing whatever they had to the
Christ child. What will we bring to him? Do we realize that when we have helped the little ones, we have
helped him?
Ya viene la Vieja (Spain) Come, My Dear Old Lady sung by Jos Rubn De Len

Leader: As the dear old lady brought her wreath to the Christ Child, may we bring what we have and do what
we can. May we bring joy to the world. It is said that St. Francis of Assisi who was eager for people to reflect
on the gospel started the tradition of the nativity scene with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. St. Francis wanted the
story to come to life for the people and transform them. People not only sang, but they also danced Christmas
carols.
En el Portal de Belen (Puerto Rico) In Bethlehems Cradle sung by Jos Rubn De Len. Students happily
did a circle dance and moved to the Holy Family and bowed.
Leader: We remember that right now there are over 1700 immigrants in detention near us. Over the past year,
we have witnessed a stark increase in the number of children and families fleeing their home countries in
Central America to seek protection in the U.S. Although a daily reality for many, feelings of isolation and
hopelessness are only intensified during the holiday season. While we enjoy abundant feasts and celebration,
our incarcerated friends remain separated from the love of their family, the support of their friends, and the
comfort of their traditions.
Como Busca el Tierno Infante (Venezuela) sung by Jos Rubn De Len.
As the frightened baby Jesus, shivering from the cold and hunger, sought repose and consolation on the Virgin
mothers breast; so would I as day is dawning come to thee, O Holy Mary, seeking thy blest consolation and to
pray for heavenly rest.
Prayer - Please respond Open our eyes so we can see you in the eyes of our immigrant brothers and sisters
Leader: Creator God, open our eyes so we can see you in the eyes of our immigrant brothers and sisters
eyes downcast for having lived so long in the shadows,
eyes challenging us to join them in the streets or picket lines,
eyes lifted looking for the Christ light in us.
All respond: Open our eyes. . .
Leader: Compassionate God, who has come to dwell among us,
open our ears to hear the cries of your children,
children being separated from their parents,
rounded up in raids,
led to detention centers,
silently giving up dreams.
All respond: Open our eyes. . .
Leader: God of Justice, who crosses all boundaries,
give us courage to stand with and for
your inclusive love,
Give us faith to believe,
another world is necessary and possible.
Let it begin with us.
All respond: Open our eyes. . .
(Prayer adapted from http://www.sistersofmercy.org/resources/prayer-just-and-humane-immigration-reform/)

Leader: We invite you share a greeting of peace with each other. May our gestures and our words indicate our
commitment to working for a just and compassionate world. May the peace of Christ be with you.
(All share a greeting of peace.)

Leader: May our compassionate God bless us, the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Go in peace to love and
serve God by caring for Gods people.
Campana Sobre Campana (Andalucia) sung by Jos Rubn De Len
Mary, Jesus, and Joseph process out, then students come out, bow, and process out while waving their ribbons
and tambourines.

*The music is from Villancicos, Christmas Carols from Latin America and Spain sung by Jos Rubn De Len.
The CD is available from cdbaby.com The service was shared by the UIW Arts for Christian Worship class
led by Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, CCVI
-----------------------------We invite you to write a Christmas card which can be delivered to one of the 1700 families in detention. Cards
are provided here for you to copy or write a Spanish greeting at this time.
This project is called Hope for the Holidays. We hope to have each family in detention holding a greeting
card by Christmas Day.
Deadline to mail the cards: DECEMBER 9, 2014. You may send them to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee
Service, Access to Justice, 700 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 The guards open all envelopes so it is
better not to put the cards in individual envelopes, but send loose cards in a large envelope.
From http://lirs.org/hopefortheholidays/ If you have questions or would like additional support, e-mail
visitation@lirs.org