Editors Note:  It will be hard for some to not read this entirely in the context of their political approach in 2019.  This, however, is a beautiful response to those that reduce humanity to abstractions worth hating – and killing.  I grew up in a poor neighborhood with many Hispanics, and it is from them and their stable and festive homes supported by hardworking fathers that I learned more about the American dream than from anyone else.  – Jason M. Craig

My plane took off from the Dayton Airport, five days after a gunman killed nine people in that city and five days after another gunman, targeting Hispanics, killed more than 20 people at a Wal-Mart in El Paso.

I landed in Amarillo, picked up my truck at a friend’s house and headed home. On my way, I stopped at Wal-Mart to buy groceries. I stood in the checkout line behind a young Hispanic family, a father, a mother and two girls around the ages of five and seven. My thoughts shifted to the Wal-Mart in El Paso and, for a moment, I wondered if they felt afraid.

I caught the father’s eye. “Tienes hijas lindas.” (Your daughters are beautiful), I said. His eyes lit up and he smiled broadly, as did his wife. “Muchas gracias,” he replied. His wife returned a polite nod.

After I paid the cashier, I headed for the nearest door. I noticed the young father walking toward me. It was after ten o’clock. “La puerta está cerrada,” (That door is locked), he said. So, we headed toward the other exit, walking a few steps behind his wife and children. He was carrying a bouquet of fresh flowers.

“Is it someone’s birthday?” I asked in Spanish, pointing to the flowers.

“No,” he said, looking a bit puzzled at my question. “Para la Virgen.” (For the Virgin Mary.)

His clothes told me he was a hard worker. His eyes told me he was a devoted parent. I can’t imagine his wife being any different.

A loving family. A deep faith. How could any individual ever imagine taking their lives?

When I reached my truck, I found myself wondering, How can a nation like ours not want to embrace families like this?

  • Phil Alcoceli

    Brother Mike Bonifas, the tragedy in El Paso, Texas touches me very personally. I was a public school teacher there for 6 years and I loved those students very dearly and they loved me back in the same way. Indeed, the student’s affection, including all the others in the school that were not my classroom students, earned me the animosity of my last principal there, a lady with a bad attitude. I have visited through the years after I moved, and the love of my students, now grown, some married, etc. is as strong as the first day. The Catholic Faith I shared with those at Church was exemplary and with deepest humility, nobility of heart and hospitality. They reminded me of my late dad. It was a blessed time there that I’ll never forget.

    Together with that, it was those very great Hispanics that talked to me about the other side of their ethnicity: “cholos” (thugs), drug traffickers, sexual perverts, political opportunists, law-hating illegal aliens hiding behind the truly suffering to use them as human shields, etc. and all those evil doers that they tried to escape from LEGALLY, patiently and prayerfully. Your article has a strong sentimental tone, but as Catholics our Religion is not based on pure sentimentality. It is based on Jesus The Truth Himself, that enables our hearts to be TRULY loving and avoid Satan’s favorite weapons: false charity, false compassion and false justice. It is these exceptional noble Hispanics that need our Catholic spiritual maturity to save them from those evil Hispanics that have given them such a bad name, to the point that some deranged people feel the demonic duty to kill them. Our Church has become an accomplice of the evil ones, which are truly satanic wolves disguised as needy sheep. Time for change!!!