The pope’s visit to the U.S. has inspired many to accomplish several different feats around the nation in time for his arrival.
For 100 women and their supporters the feat will be to walk 100 miles to greet the Argentine Pope Francis II at his Washington D.C. stop to focus attention on the plight of migrants.
Women of We Belong Together, #1Not1More Campaign, PICO, and other groups will begin the “Women’s Pilgrimage for Migrant Justice,” on September 15.
The group of women will start their walk at the York Detention Center in Pennsylvania, where many of their family members have been jailed. They will walk 10 miles to 15 miles a day. They plan to reach Baltimore on the 19th and arrive in the nation's capital on the 22nd, a day before the Pope’s scheduled meeting with the White House.
They cite the on-going detention of asylum-seeking women and children, the treatment of transgender women face in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, and the continued threat of deportation for the undocumented, as their reasons for their focus on migrants.
“Pope Francis has said that the globalization of migration requires a globalization of charity and cooperation. He describes a world where no one is seen as useless, out of place or disposable, a church without border, and nations that welcome the stranger,” said Juana Flores, a former nun and domestic worker, now co-director of "Mujeres Unidas y Activas (United and Active Women) in California, who are among the groups participating in the walk.
“We have much work to do to bring about the world of dignity the pope describes, but we believe each step on our hundred mile journey will bring us another step closer.”