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Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra Coming to Casa Juan Diego

Fr. Alejandro Solalinde
Drawing by Angel Valdez

Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra is well-known in Mexico for his work with migrants and for courageously withstanding many threats of violence as a result. When Houston Boy Scout Inti Chavarria completed his Eagle Scout Project (a playground for the children living at Casa Juan Diego), he decided to invite Fr. Solalinde to his Court of Honor on April 22, 2018.    

Fr. Solalinde’s childhood was marked by poverty; still, his parents cultivated in him a love for those most in need. As a student he was expelled from school because of his conduct and bad grades. During his adolescence he was involved in problems with gangs. The seminary was no exception; he went from seminary to seminary until finally he was ordained a priest.

Over many years he was a priest dedicated to managing his parish, living a life of little luxuries and comforts, always supported economically by his brother.

What brought Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra to make a 180-degree turnaround in his priestly ministry? He himself shares his answer that it was his conscience and the call of Jesus upon seeing him vacillate between his comfort and indifference and going to the aid of the community: “Because I am sending you, coward,” Father Alejandro says Jesus answered his questioning.

It was being a witness to the holocaust lived by the Central American migrants on their way through Mexico to the United States that made him commit his life to the defense of human rights of migrants.

Hermanos en el Camino

Father Solalinde took on the responsibility of constructing a shelter where refuge is given to the migrants that cross the Mexican land daily with no more than their own determination to find a better life for themselves and their families.

Thanks to the help of Mexican organizations and people of good will and volunteers from various parts of the world, the shelter Hermanos en el Caminowas built in 2007 in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Today, the sisters of the religious order, Angel de la Guarda, are an important part of Hermanos en el Camino. through the shelter.

The Sheep and the Wolves

Being the voice for the voiceless, Fr. Solalinde has unintentionally become a serious problem for the politicians and the mafias of the traffickers of drugs and human beings, who more than once have tried to murder and burn alive the shelter and all in it.

Almost 10 years ago, in June 2008, the mayor of Ixtepec, supported by the governor of the state, Ulises Ruiz (both of whom opposed Father Solalinde’s defense of migrants), led a mob ready to burn him alive. When they were about to burn him, he lowered his head and extended his arms in the form of a cross and apparently, this sign, the sign of the cross, contained them and made them retreat; although this withdrawal did not prevent the municipality from decreeing the closing the shelter. Today the mayor and the governor have gone, leaving a sad memory. The shelter remains open.

Monseñor Romero of the Migrants

The ministry and his way of the cross for the migrants have made him the person with the most prestige and moral authority within the Catholic Church and in Mexico, to the point that he has been considered as a candidate of the Nobel Peace Prize. In some ways, his fight for migrants in Mexico and the world is a kind of protection of his own ministry and life.   Among the Central American migrants the idea has even grown that Father Solalinde is the Monseñor Romero of Mexico to the migrants.

Father Solalinde coming to Casa Juan Diego in April for Inti’s Boy ScoutCourt of Honor

 By the invitation of Inti, a Boy Scout of Troop 355, sponsored by the Catholic Church of Saint James of Spring, Texas, Casa Juan Diego will be opening its doors to celebrate Inti’s Court of Honor, where he will receive the highest honor of the Boy Scouts of America: The Eagle Scout Award.

Inti asked permission to invite Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, who has already confirmed his attendance. The ceremony will be April 22, 2018 at 5 p.m. at 4811 Lillian Street, Houston, TX 77007. (No Mass) All are invited.


Houston Catholic Worker, Jan-Feb. 2018, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 1.