St. Mary the Virgin San Francisco is helping migrants establish independent lives.
Asylee Gerson Marcony Bolvito Grijalva with newly arrived asylum seeker Rodnoel José Aranguren-Flores at Twin Peaks.
"We know that Episcopal Impact Fund took a risk granting to us for an entirely new immigration accompaniment ministry. But that investment has paid off multi-fold in encouraging broader parish participation, legitimizing the work with the vestry, generating additional financial, material, and volunteer support from our members, and most importantly changing lives." —The Rev. David Erickson, Rector, St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco
St. Mary’s Justice Ministries works through Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team (NEAT), a program of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, to provide resources, support, and community to newly arrived migrants to help establish independent lives.
Over the past three years, approximately a dozen parishioners have been involved in this specific accompaniment work. They've supported individual and family asylum-seekers fleeing their homes in Afghanistan, Argentina, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Ukraine, and Venezuela. St. Mary’s has supported these migrants by accompanying them to court, securing housing and furnishings, providing food, meals, baby clothing and supplies, connecting them with educational opportunities especially ESL classes, and helping secure asylum. In extraordinary cases they’ve found Latinx transgender support groups, secured emergency heart surgery for a young girl, and obtained release for a young man from Adelanto Detention Center.
In our work, we have found that miracles happen in small increments, but, through God's grace, they never cease. So we just keep doing what we can and find the results are more than we could have hoped for. That is the way God's miracles work." —David Crosson, Co-chair, Justice Ministries, St. Mary the Virgin
By valuing every person as sacred – across bars and borders – St. Mary’s justice ministry protects the rights, dignity, and well-being of new migrants. Episcopal Impact Fund is proud to partner with St. Mary the Virgin as they walk alongside these individuals and families.