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From the Bishop
June 2, 2023

2023 Plaza de Paz, Immigration and Refugee Ministries Father's Day Offering

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18, 2023, and Bishops David M. Reed and Rayford B. High, Jr. are inviting each church in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas to dedicate a special Father’s Day offering in support of Plaza de Paz Respite Center. Consider honoring fathers, and other special men in your lives, by supporting the important work of responding faithfully to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Opened in July 2021 in response to the increase in migrant arrivals in San Antonio, Plaza de Paz Respite Center has expanded its current services to provide short-term, overnight housing for migrants, who have been processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Moving forward, Plaza de Paz staff will make hotel reservations for individuals and families, for one or more nights until their flight or bus ride’s scheduled departure times to family or sponsors throughout the country. This response will provide temporary shelter and humanitarian services to those who continue to make the harrowing journey from their home countries to the United States in pursuit of safety and security.

In the first week of this new arrangement, from April 24 – 30, Immigration Ministries provided overnight shelter to 38 families, most including one or two children under the age of eight. In total, 113 people were provided a secure place to spend the night. The average length of stay was one night. Without this emergency shelter, all would have been forced to sleep on city streets until their travel arrangements were finalized.

The large increase in arrivals at Plaza de Paz has exhausted the respite center’s available inventory of food and supplies needed to care for our migrant neighbors. If you or your church are able, Immigration Ministries welcomes donations of shelf-stable food and new clothing. Items can be delivered or brought to the Bishop Jones Center (111 Torcido Drive; San Antonio, TX 78209) anytime during regular business hours (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Friday). For a list of needed items, visit our Amazon and Walmart wishlists.

We pray that you consider supporting Plaza de Paz as our staff and volunteers strive to welcome each migrant neighbor with respect and compassion. Thank you for your continued love and support.

In addition to a special offering in your church on Father’s Day, there are three ways to give:

  • Online, at Click on Immigration Ministries and select the Father's Day Offering sub-fund.
  • Text the word "father" to 210-796-6805.
  • Mail a check, made out to the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, to P.O. Box 6885, San Antonio, TX 78209, with "Father's Day Offering" on the memo line.

If you have questions or need more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact Flor Saldivar, Director of Immigration and Refugee Ministries. Thank you for considering this offering. Together, we can support asylum seekers, refugees, and law enforcement within our Diocese.

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