La Posada Providencia’s clients often travel long, treacherous journeys to the United States in order to seek refuge from persecution, poverty, and/or violence. Upon arrival at the shelter, many clients are excited and thankful to be in a place that is safe and secure. The opportunities available in the United States are significant. Each morning after Sister Thérèse Cunningham, SHSp calls for everybody to gather outside, the clients and some of the staff members stand near the flagpole to say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing God Bless America. This gesture is symbolic of the journey they are embarking on to their new homes.
Sister Thérèse reflected on this morning routine. She stated, “As the ESL director, I have often been deeply touched and inspired by the enthusiasm and respect that our immigrants and asylum seekers show for the U.S. flag. When singing the refrain of God Bless America ‘my home sweet home,’ I tell them that this is our prayer and hope: that as time goes on, they will feel more and more at home in the U.S.” Unfortunately, at this time, our governmental policies do not reflect a sense of welcoming or inviting the immigrant and asylum seeker. Nevertheless, our doors at La Posada are open to receive the stranger as we would Jesus Christ.”