More than 1,200 Spanish Bibles donated by the American Bible Society and the publishing house Verbo Divino have gone to unaccompanied minors from Central America. Requested by Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, the Bibles were requested by the Department of Communications of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to the approximately 1,000 young people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador detained by U.S. Border Patrol near Nogales, Arizona.
The American Bible Society donated some 1,000 Bibles and approximately 600 copies of “La Llave,” an edition specifically for young people. Verbo Divino donated 200 copies of their Catholic Family Bible.
Bishops Kicanas issued the call for bible donations to serve the spiritual needs of these children as they await an uncertain future. “Currently about 1,000 unaccompanied minors who have entered into the United States are being detained in a Border Patrol facility in Nogales, Arizona. They are all from Central America – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – their physical needs are being attended to but the authorities wonder if Spanish [language] bibles could be given to the children while in the holding center to comfort them,” Bishop Kicanas said. “Many have been through some troubling and traumatic situations.”
Several dioceses and Catholic Charities offices also have responded to the unaccompanied children crisis offering humanitarian aid. And recently, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio, also issued a similar call to volunteers for donations of Spanish language bibles and New Testaments to be shared with unaccompanied children and women at entry points along the southern border.