This Dreamer wants to bring youth ministry to her parish. But without DACA, her future is uncertain.

Young Hispanics, including Mirna Lozano, Carlos Guzman and Dora Lozano, front right, recite the Lord's Prayer during a young adult Mass in late October at St. Dominic Church in Springfield, Ky. (CNS photo/Ruby Thomas, The Record) 

SPRINGFIELD, Ky. (CNS) — Holding the Lectionary high, Mirna Lozano processed into St. Dominic Church in late October during the parish's first young adult Mass, which she organized with the help of her father, Rodrigo.

The father-daughter duo recently earned certification in youth ministry through the Archdiocese of Louisville's Office of Youth and Young Adults. They are looking forward to seeing youth ministry grow at the parish.

Advertisement

But Mirna's future in Springfield is uncertain. The 19-year-old native of Mexico was brought to the United States without proper documentation when she was 4 years old. The U.S. is the only home she knows.

For now, she's protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. President Donald Trump's decision to cancel the program—which protects 800,000 young people from deportation—leaves an uncertain future though.

The 19-year-old native of Mexico was brought to the United States without proper documentation when she was 4 years old.

What's more certain for Mirna and other young Hispanics is fear.

Trump called on lawmakers in Washington to pass a measure to preserve DACA. To that end, advocates around the country have rallied to urge passage of the DREAM Act—the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act—to provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries, but Congress has yet to act.

The young people who would benefit from the act's passage, known as "Dreamers," are afraid they will have to give up their lives in the U.S. and be forced to return to countries they barely remember.

Mirna, who hopes to be a teacher and youth minister, said she feels her future lies in the hands of the federal government. She has voluntarily registered under DACA.

"This is our country. This is all we know," she told The Record, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Mirna, who hopes to be a teacher and youth minister, said she feels her future lies in the hands of the federal government.

Mirna, her father and a group of six other young people, including her younger sister Dora, shared their journeys after the Mass at St. Dominic.

Rodrigo Lozano said his family moved to the U.S. 15 years ago, trading the suffocating violence of Mexico City for the sleepy rural community of Springfield, 59 miles southeast of Louisville. Mirna was 4 and Dora only 3.

He said he came looking for a "better ... more peaceful life" for his family. "It's every parents' dream," he said.

Despite a tough economy in Mexico, he had managed to hold a decent job, but Mexico City had become inundated with violence, he said. After being assaulted at gunpoint several times, he felt he had no choice but to leave his homeland. Traveling to the U.S. without documents is a major decision because it's dangerous, he admitted.

The elder Lozano said he initially traveled north alone to prepare a life for his family. His wife and two daughters joined him about a year later.

When Rodrigo arrived, he did not speak English, had nowhere to live and no clothes to wear. But he found work on farms and sometimes cleaned streets.

"You don't care how much you're paid, you just want to work," he said.

As for regrets, Rodrigo has none.

Since moving to Springfield the family, including a son born in the U.S., have found a home in St. Dominic Church, where they are active parishioners.

Despite the looming threat of deportation, Mirna continues to look ahead.

Despite the looming threat of deportation, Mirna continues to look ahead. She and her father are proud of their youth ministry certificates and are forming a multi-ethnic youth group at the parish.

Mirna also is active in the community, helping other young people understand their options for higher education despite their legal status. Undocumented young people, even those protected by DACA, do not qualify for federal student aid.

She said he hopes to foster unity and a better understanding between Hispanics and the larger community in Springfield.

DACA is not just a political issue, she noted. It's about people "striving for a better life." She wants to help others understand that.

Mirna also is active in the community, helping other young people understand their options for higher education despite their legal status.

Mirna hopes that Congress will pass the DREAM Act and that there will be a path to legalization for the parents of Dreamers.

Since the president's decision in September to cancel DACA—he gave Congress six months to act before formally ending the program—Mirna has felt the Catholic Church's presence and support because it has helped her feel safe.

Father Pepper Elliott, pastor, who celebrates Mass in Spanish for the Hispanic community at St. Dominic Church, said it would be a tragedy to lose the Dreamers.

"They're just as much our young people as any other in our parish and they're just as close to our hearts," Father Elliott said.

He held up Mirna's leadership in organizing the young adult Mass. She graduated from Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, Kentucky., where she was elected president of her senior class, he said.

Young Latinos such as Mirna have grown up in the community and some attended St. Dominic School, he explained, noting that many now are of college and working age, contributing to the community by holding jobs, paying taxes, rent and utilities, buying necessities, such as clothing and cars, and even helping create jobs.

On top of that, Father Elliott added, they add to the community through their family life and values.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Stephen Downing
9 months 4 weeks ago

I personally think that ALL these IDEAS are LITERALLY GREAT for the GOSPELS SAKE! However, I am sorry to say that this/ these person('s) U.S. Citizenship status, NOR ANY OTHER "DREAMER(s)" U.S. Citizenship status SHOULD NOT be classified as a "DREAMER(s)," but as an "ACTUAL ILLEGAL ALIEN(s)" in our U.S. Country! In FACT: The term 'DREAMER" is a word that was given to ILLEGAL ALIEN(s) from our current CORRUPT U.S. House Of Representatives and Senators Democratic Party. This term "DREAMER" is a "Politically Correct" term CREATED, MEANT to IMPOSE SPECIAL IMPORTANCE, HIGHEST PRIORITY and PRIVILEGE, and with ILLEGAL WARPED INTENT to DECEPTIVELY DEFLECT and ILLICITLY JUSTIFY from the ACTUAL DEFINITION of what is Constitutional Citizenship; of our U.S. Constitution's LEGAL TERMINOLOGY of what IS our TRUE U.S. Citizenship! Plainly stated, the term "DREAMER" is a word that is imposed on ACTUAL ILLEGAL ALIENS by our CORRUPT DEMOCRAT U.S. House Of Representatives and Senators with the express illicit intent to LIE and CONFUSE our ACTUAL living citizens. Dreamers ARE in fact QUASI-U.S. CITIZENS with SPECIAL IMPORTANCE, HIGHEST PRIORITY and PRIVILEGE, which DESERVE placement at the front of the IMMIGRATION LINE: EVEN ahead of those LEGAL ALIEN CITIZENS! which took their due time and diligence in learning our U.S. GREAT HISTORY and our LEGAL REQUIREMENTS, furthermore going through the YEARS of TRAINING; learning "WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN AMERICAN CITIZEN"! YES! Placement at the front of the IMMIGRATION LINE, which INFERS upon ILLEGAL ALIENS that they are ENDUED SPECIAL IMPORTANCE, and a HIGHEST PRIORITY and PRIVILEGE. However, for WHOM is this ENDUED SPECIAL IMPORTANCE, and to what MEANS is this IMPOSED SPECIAL IMPORTANCE, and WHY such HIGHEST PRIORITY and PRIVILEGE, and since WHEN is this PRIVILEGED ACTION SO PRUDENT that the ILLEGAL ALIENS should SUPERSEDE EVEN THOSE LEGAL ALIENS which want to enter our GREAT COUNTRY ACCORDING to OUR SOCIAL and LEGAL REQUIREMENTS and DEMANDS! The REAL ANSWER is POLITICAL POWER and DOMINANCE from our current CORRUPT DEMOCRATS in the U.S. House Of Representatives, Senators Democratic Party, and by our recent past PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA. YES! LEAD by our recent past PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA who said 22 times on NATIONAL TV that DOING SUCH IMMIGRATION ACTIONS IS AGAINST OUR U.S. CONSTITUTION, before HE WENT ON MEXICO'S "UNO" TELEVISION STATION and LITERALLY TAUGHT the MEXICANS HOW TO UNDERMINE OUR GREAT CONSTITUTION and WENT ON WEAKEN OUR BOARDERS SECURITY! This and other WELL KNOWN FACTS were INTENTIONALLY and ABSOLUTELY OVERLOOKED and SUBVERSIVELY COVERED OVER by ALL the MAJOR NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ((ORGs) ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, etc.. that were ABSOLUTELY IN BED with the OBAMA CAMPAIGN and ORGs! These were the very same NEWS ORG's that LITERALLY PREACHED to the PUBLIC MASSES that THERE WAS NO PATH FOR THEN Presidential Candidate TRUMP to WIN THE WHITE HOUSE so HILARY WILL WIN and BE THE FIRST FEMALE U.S. PRESIDENT IN HISTORY! Thus did they (((0RGs) ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, etc...) do RIGHT UP TO THE LAST 15 MINUTES OF THE ELECTION, WHEN IT WAS INEVITABLE THAT TRUMP HAD WON! NOR HAVE ANY OF THESE SELF SO-CALLED '"best credible news organizations" APOLOGIZED FOR THE LIES WHICH THEY CONSPIRED FOR TWO (2) SOLID YEARS LEADING UP TO THEIR COVERTLY CONSPIRED AGAINST THEN Presidential Candidate TRUMP; KNOWING THE TRUTH AND CONTINUED TO TELL AMERICA THEIR CONSPIRED LIES. Then President Obama taught Mexican citizens on UNO TV to "SEND ALL THE CHILDREN IN FIRST, He and his news media will ensure America's HEART will go out for them - then WE WILL SEND FOR THEIR PARENTS. THE WHOLE COVERT PURPOSE OF our current CORRUPT DEMOCRATS PARTY in the U.S. House Of Representatives, Senators CONSPIRED ILLEGAL PLAN WOULD BE TO OPEN OUR U.S. BOARDERS AND FLOOD OUR STATES WITH THE MEXICANS THAT WOULD REMEMBER TO VOTE DEMOCRAT AND GIVE DEMOCRATS THE POWER of OFFICE TO KEEP THESE OFFICES ELECTION AFTER ELECTION! NOW, I've taken detail to explain why this so-called term "Dreamers" is a "Politically Correct" term CREATED by our current CORRUPT Democratic U.S. House Of Representatives, Senators and President Obama. This ILLEGAL ALIEN term DREAMER is MEANT to IMPOSE SPECIAL IMPORTANCE, HIGHEST PRIORITY and PRIVILEGE ON and OVER the LEGAL ALIEN, which furthermore, is also without the LEGAL ALIENS YEARS of AMERICAS and AMERICAN ASSIMILATION in U.S. History, Polity, and Customs REQUIREMENTS and DEMANDS for American KNOWLEDGE. The “DREAMER” term implies the ILLEGAL WARPED INTENT to DECEPTIVELY DEFLECT and ILLICITLY JUSTIFY the ACTUAL DEFINITION of what is Constitutional Citizenship, because our Democratic House Reps, Senators, future Presidential Candidates want the POLITICAL POWER of OFFICE NOW! Furthermore, the DEMOCRATS want their illicit, illegal PLANS in PLACE and in TIME for the next 2018 ELECTIONS and in the FUTURE! The DEMOCRATS CANNOT CARE-LESS about neither their CURRENT CONSTITUENTS, NOR their RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE GOOD on their PROMISES THEY HAVE MADE TO THEIR CURRENT UNSUSPECTING YET COMPLETELY FAITHFUL CONSTITUENTS! THE DEMOCRAT'S INTENT IS TO TOTALLY and COMPLETELY RE-WRITE THE CURRENT AMERICAN DEMOGRAPHICS; FOR WITH THE MEXICAN POPULOUS TO SUSTAIN THEIR GREED FOR POWER in GOVERNMENT INDEFINITELY, THEY CAN CONFIDENTLY and LITERALLY DUMP THEIR CURRENT CONSTITUENTS and THEIR PAST COMMITMENTS! THAT IS WHY THEY WERE LITERALLY GIVING THEIR MEXICAN ILLEGAL ALIENS CARTE-BLANCH PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT! In closing, from my WHOLE HEART, I personally think and feel that ALL these MINISTERIAL IDEAS are GREAT for the GOSPEL'S SAKE! Moreover, the furthering of GOD'S MINISTRY NATIONWIDE; however, THIS is the time and the age in that we MUST use our SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT and WISDOM when assigning ministerial assignments to anyone being in placed and empowered by and for the churches community interest! Most Dreamers have NO IDEA HOW THEY ARE BEING POLITICALLY PAWNED AROUND the DEMOCRATS CHESSBOARD, for the DEMOCRATS CHEEKY CHESS GAME! The DREAMERS OF WHICH THIS STORY IS ABOUT MAY BE THE NICEST CHRISTIANS IN HEART THAT THE WORLD CAN MUSTER, WITH THE HEART AND COURAGE and CONVICTION TO DO WHAT HAS BEEN PLACED IN and ON THEIR DESTINY! It is not for me to impose any form of judgment on or around their PRECIOUS LOVE OF GOD and HIS KINGDOM. My intent is to MAKE AWARE, EDUCATE, and FOR THOSE WHOM HAVE AN EAR TO HEAR, UNDERSTAND, and MITIGATE PROTECTION for CHRISTIAN SOULS that may well be CAUGHT UP IN THE MIDST of these EVIL DEVIOUS DEMOCRAT PLANS; which PLAY GAMES WITH MEN, FEMALE, AND INNOCENT CHILDREN ALIKE! EVIL DEMOCRATS, TO THE TEARING DOWN OF ONES FAITH WITHOUT CONSIDERATION FOR THEIR INFLUENCE ON MEXICAN SOULS: FOR IT IS BY THEIR ACTIONS THAT THESE EVIL DEMOCRATS IMPOSE ON THE INNOCENCE OF THOSE SUBJECT to THEIR PLAYED GAMES. TO THE WITNESSING OF GOOD PEOPLES SOLE'S BEING JERKED AROUND NATIONS BY THESE EVIL DEMOCRATS, WHICH HAVE NO VESTED INTEREST IN THE GOOD WORKINGS OF THESE NAIVE YET VERY FAITHFUL GOOD SOLES; EVEN BEING UPROOTED BY SUDDEN DEPORTATION! May the LORD add a blessing to the readers, hearers, and mostly doers of his faith, HALLELUJAH and MARANATHA!

Advertisement

The latest from america

Kevin Clarke tells us about his reporting from Iraq.
Olga SeguraOctober 19, 2018
For U.S. Catholics, every synod is also a valuable reminder—and corrective—that it is not all about us.
The EditorsOctober 19, 2018
For decades, the U.S. church has gifted its public servants with the social teachings and magisterium of the church.
Christopher Jolly HaleOctober 19, 2018
Whether evangelicalism survives Donald J. Trump depends upon whether it has leaders who are able to disentangle its political witness from the dimensions of Mr. Trump’s presidency that have so clearly scandalized the Gospel witness.
Matthew Lee AndersonOctober 19, 2018