One South Bend church is working to help immigrants
SOUTH BEND, Ind.- A church in South Bend is working to make sure immigrants know they have a space to go to. Our Lady of Hungary has been serving individuals who have come to the U.S. from other countries for more than 100 years.
Pastor Kevin Bauman says Our Lady of Hungary became an independent parish in the 1920’s catering to immigrants from Hungary.
Now, times have changed and there are new factors added to the mix. “There’s a lot of doubt. There’s a lot of, I would say fear, uneasiness within our community given the political climate,” says Father Kevin.
For almost seven years Father Kevin has been with the church hoping to help immigrants re-establish their lives.
“Within the last ten years or so our Lady of Hungary has taken on a new face serving people from Mexico and Latin America.”
Previously catering to immigrants from eastern and western European countries, this parish has seen some changing times. “The number of people coming to this country continues to grow and that is reflective in our parish community as well,” says Father Kevin.
But it has never lost its sense of purpose. “There have always been waves of immigration, some of it legal some not so, but the church has always been a safe haven,” adds father Kevin.
This anchor, light and beacon, as Father Kevin describes it, hopes to bridge two cultures.
“We constantly try to offer programs and activities that help build the community not just within the Mexican or Anglo community but activities that help bridge those two cultures.”
Father Kevin says generations of immigrants have given positive feedback for this church. “We keep our eyes, our ears; our hearts open to Jesus’s invitation to be the way the truth and the light for all people.”
Father Kevin mentioned the church is in need of electricians and plumbers and also that the Mexican Consulate meets at this church and will have a meeting at the end of January and first week of February this year.