Sister Denise LaRock is a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and has been working in San Antonio since January 2016. She works with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition (IWC), greeting asylum-seekers at the bus station and providing backpacks with donations from churches. She bases her work on the words of the Bible regarding foreigners.
Twenty five twenty seventeen.
We have no dueling families.
I think the families.
I think we need about those we just picked up our supplies and we'll be waiting for the families seeking asylum being released from detention.
It's an amazing organization.
It's all volunteer.
I've never worked with a more committed passionate group of people she has established relationships with ice at both Dilley and Karnes where they help us.
They bend over backwards to help us and she has done it with his quiet strength.
This mutual respect you know they've been so much trauma and through so much difficulty getting here and to have people welcoming them and being warm and you know it's pretty scary traveling like this.
Not speaking English not understanding you know if they have to change buses.
Very few of them have any money at all.
They come in very stressed the women are raped actually coming through Mexico they'll get birth control shots before they leave their country in anticipation of being raped.
That was one thing I didn't anticipate when I was helping someone with their ticket or whatever and his little girl she was 7 years old was crying hysterically.
We're trying to calm her down.
I'm so I want chicken.
I want chicken.
I know she was getting food where she was but you know it just showed to me the trauma she had gone through of going hungry most of them have been at least a month of nonstop travel.
And we're talking about little kids and being cruelly treated on the Mexico side as well.
There are people that dress as immigration officers but they're not.
And then they they take these women and do horrible things.
I'm surprised by the number of people that I have no idea the process the families go through at the border.
Illegal immigration is the biggest source of it is those who come in on visas and overstay their visas.
They are not people coming in at our southern border.
And that's a huge misconception.
And we have huge numbers of people from you know Europe and all other countries.
And we only hear about the brown skinned ones from Central America.
And and I think it's such an example of the racism that's endemic in the United States.
The you know I'm a Catholic sister in Catholic social teaching is full of caring for the stranger and those in a foreign land and we were once in a foreign land with she's She's real she's genuine.
What she does come straight out of her heart.
She's passionate and she's unconditionally committed to the work but she's also hilarious.
I mean she is so much fun.
I mean I'm used to like working about.
You're trying to be these you know points of light and in the midst of this journey and I always describe this ministry this is linked to compassion.
This is our opportunity for us to live our compassion and sister Denise is an example of lived compassion.
How you doing.