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The Children of Casa Juan Diego in Houston

As we prepare for Christmas, I find myself rejoicing at all the new babies and children that have found refuge at Casa Juan Diego. At times, we have relatively few children, but then immigration authorities will deliver so many that we have almost more than we can handle. Because the work of our house is 24/7… continue reading

Two Hours in the Life of a Catholic Worker at Casa Juan Diego in Houston

I am often asked what we do here at Casa Juan Diego. My usual answer is we provide hospitality to new immigrants from around the world, which means we live in community together and care for each other. Yet this is just a part of our work; we also serve and respond to the larger… continue reading

Casa Juan Diego and the Healing of Trauma

Seven months ago, I was attacked and robbed by two carjackers. They had a gun, and one of them grabbed me from behind. You cannot predict what you will do in a fight or flight situation like this, but apparently, I fight. I managed to get away with only minor physical injuries, but the loss… continue reading

The Cause of Dorothy Day

“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us? When we begin to take the lowest place, to wash the feet of others, to love our brothers with that burning love, that passion, which led to the… continue reading

A Vaccine for the Heart

by Dawn McCarty, Ph.D., LMSW These days at Casa Juan Diego feel like being in a pressure cooker. Those of us who work and live in one of our houses of hospitality have mostly escaped direct harm from the virus; we adhere to and strictly enforce CDC guidelines and trust in God while we wait… continue reading

The Christmas Story: Welcoming the Holy Family at Casa Juan Diego

The Christmas story of my childhood has changed very little in my mind. As I understood it and still understand it today, Mary and Joseph were forced by an unjust and corrupt government to take a precarious journey, one that put the mother and her unborn child into great danger. Escaping the power of a… continue reading

Love in Action at Casa Juan Diego During COVID-19

Weeks before the formal stay at home orders were issued, we were planning as best we could to take care of our guests and the many community members we serve. Casa Juan Diego is a literal hive of activity throughout the day, with constant interaction of staff with both guests and community. We have on… continue reading

Death While Waiting at the Border

A few days ago, we received word that the brother of a current guest of Casa Juan Diego, who had been forced to await his day in a U.S. Court in one of the refugee camps just across the border in Mexico, had been murdered. We don’t know the details yet, but a fellow migrant,… continue reading

Cultivating Hope in Troubled Times at Casa Juan Diego: Samaritans and Solidarity

  My job during the Tuesday food distributions at Casa Juan Diego is basically to organize the hundreds of people who come to the door. Most come just for food and they organize themselves, really. Before the sun comes up, they have formed a line out the door and into our parking lot and sometimes… continue reading

The Summer of Family Separation at the Border

About ten years ago I spent the summer in Cuba. A fascinating country, but what I remember most was how heavily policed Havana was. Uniformed law enforcement seemed to be everywhere, to the point that it felt oppressive. It WAS oppressive, a police state, they say. Last summer in Texas was the summer of family… continue reading