Mississippi pastor says immigration raids split congregation

Published 8:14 am Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The reverend of a Mississippi church says raids by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement have decimated his congregation.

The Rev. Roberto Mena tells The Clarion Ledger that his Forest congregation and that of a sister church in Morton were halved by the Aug. 7 raids on Mississippi food processing plants. Mena says he and a majority of his parishioners at St. Michael’s Catholic Church are Guatemalan. Services offered in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The 52-year-old clergyman says he’s now directing people to legal services and aid, in addition to providing spiritual guidance.

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Mena says some have been afraid to attend Mass since the raids. However, nearly 100 people packed into his small church last week to pray for the return of the absent parishioners.