Audio: Interview with Sisters Pat Murphy & JoAnn Persch on Why They Visit Detainees
Click on the arrow below to listen or go here to download the two clips.
After DWN’s National Member Conference in Austin at the beginning of April, I sat down with Sisters Pat Murphy and JoAnn Persch to learn how and why they visit detainees in Illinois.
Since 2007, Sisters Pat and JoAnn have offered emotional and spiritual support to immigrants facing deportation at McHenry County Jail and at the Broadview Service Processing Center, the last stop for detained immigrants in the Chicago area before deportation. The Sisters played a critical role in advocating for the passage of the Illinois Access to Religious Ministry Act and for national policies recognizing the need for humane treatment of detained immigrants. Their work serves as an ecumenical catalyst, engaging other faith communities to attend to the needs of detained immigrants. Their ministry combines weekly prayer vigils and individual detention center visits to help bring hope and support to immigrants (and their families) facing the uncertainty and harshness of immigration detention and the deportation process.
The Sisters have a long history of service to immigrants, going back to work in Latin America in the 1960s and, notably, their founding of Su Casa in 1990 to provide housing to refugees fleeing Central America.