When his alarm buzzes at 3 a.m., Daniel Sanchez prepares for a day in the fields alongside migrants who pick cherries and apples in Yakima, Washington, a central valley community known as the nation's fruit basket. The 25-year-old isn't one of the thousands of mostly Mexican workers who labor under an unforgiving sun that earlier this summer scorched this region with temperatures rising above 100 degrees.
Sanchez is a seminarian in the Yakima diocese, where all men studying to be priests are not only expected to study theology, philosophy and biblical exegesis, but also spend part of their summer learning from and ministering to migrants. Sanchez has done everything from prune grape vines and sort cherries to help the migrants' children learn to read English.
"It has been a humbling experience that helps me realize my vocation isn't about me, but the people I'm ministering to," said Sanchez, who was born in Washington state after his parents immigrated from Oaxaca, Mexico. "The beauty of this ministry is it helps the migrant workers see that the church has not abandoned them. The church is there when they are lonely or tired, and goes out to meet them where they are."
In a commentary from La Croix International, Jon Rosebank writes about the upcoming Root and Branch Inclusive Synod, being held Sept. 5-12 in Bristol, England.
The so-called "Bristol Text" will include brief, accessible statements on liturgical ministry, diversity, moral theology, and authority, backed by papers giving it historical and theological depth
Four international teams of distinguished theologians, jurists and thinkers, both lay and religious, have been meeting to consider the results of the synod's year-long "journey of discernment."
"Sources close to the process suggest that the Bristol Text will propose a radical shift away from a church that enshrines its teaching in inflexible laws, towards one that guides and enables the people of God to reflect for itself," Rosebank writes.
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