Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletMay 22, 2019

Main News

Sister Doreen Glynn, CSJ, Assists Refugees along Texas-Mexico Border


by Emily Benson, staff writer, The Evangelist, December 20, 2018

One night in late December, a young mother and her newborn child went out in search of a place of shelter and refuge. 

This isn’t the story of Mary and Joseph, although it may sound eerily similar to the events of that first Christmas; this is the story of a 21-year-old mother and her 4-day-old child, Angelita, who arrived in El Paso, Texas, after fleeing their home in Central America.

The small family battled strenuous travel, and was sent by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to a refugee shelter operating out of the Soluna Hotel and Budget Inn in El Paso. The hotel is one of many shelter sites overseen by Annunciation House, a Catholic organization offering hospitality to migrants and refugees along the U.S.-Mexico border 

After her arrival, a volunteer showed the young mother how to nurse her child, while another refugee mother — who had traveled to the United States with five children of her own — showed her how to bathe her baby. 

“These people are fleeing for a better life. They’re trying to make a better life for their kids,” said Sister Doreen Glynn, CSJ, who left the comfort of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cardondelet Provincial House in Latham to serve along the Texas border this month. 

Native to the Albany Diocese, Sister Doreen has been volunteering in El Paso since 2015. As justice coordinator for the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Sister Doreen has been active in various social justice movements at home, such as fighting human trafficking and increasing access to food for the needy. A major inspiration for her involvement, she said, has been Pope Francis, whom she sees as close to his people, especially those who are struggling. 

Every December, Sister Doreen flies into El Paso to volunteer for two weeks in a shelter run by Annunciation House.

“I’m delighted to have this opportunity,” Sister Doreen told The Evangelist. “I know I’m coming home more compassionate.”

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Sisters volunteering at the Soluna Hotel and Budget Inn shelter in El Paso are, clockwise from left, Sister Ana of Sisters of Saint Dominic, Sister Pauline of Sisters of an Incarnate Word, Sister Doreen of Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet, and Sister Judy of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. (Photo submitted by Sister Doreen)