LIFE IN THE MISSION AT NUEVO LAREDO
“Never a dull moment,” is how Fr. Antonio Anderson, describes his time at this SOLT mission along the northern border of Mexico. In a single day he, Fr. Tristan Abbott and Our Lady’s sisters, might find themselves serving the bereaved victims of organized crime, preparing children to receive Jesus in Holy Communion, and counseling couples on the verge of divorce.
Organized violence has punched and strangled Nuevo Laredo for the last 11 years, so one of the works of SOLT is consoling and encouraging victims and exhorting youth to avoid or to leave the slavery of the cartel. But the vast majority of the 80,000 people in the parish area are hard-working family-oriented anawim. Many of them are committed to Our Lady and Our Lord and many are selfless servants of the Church.
The SOLT parish is appropriately named, El Refugio, because Christ and Our Lady (and their SOLT servants) are indeed a Refuge for the the poor, the undocumented, the sinners, the hurting and the hunted just south of the Rio Grande. “We are all refugees in the arms of Our Lady,” says Fr. Antonio.
The SOLT team here includes Pedro and Dora Vargas, local lay members of the Society. Lay volunteers from the United States also have served on the Ecclesial Team over the years and continue to be needed. Aside from evangelization, there is much work to be done in the SOLT medical clinic, and there is often need for construction in the 5 chapels and the retreat center that are dependant on the parish.