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2009 Convocation Day Guest Speaker

Ruben L. Garcia
Director and co-founder of Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, Ruben L. Garcia is a native of the border region of El Paso and has been immersed in the plight of immigrants, making it his life's work.

He has provided assistance to approximately 100,000 immigrants, refugees and undocumented persons from Mexico, Central America and 40 other countries. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet recognize him as a person of deep faith whose passion is to serve as a true witness of gospel values.

Annunciation House
Close to 100 years old and located 10 blocks from the United States/Mexican border, Annunciation House has been home to thousands of refugees and homeless poor since a group of young adults gathered in 1976 with a desire to experience the Gospel more deeply. Especially strong was the realization that the Gospel calls us all to the poor and that the life and presence of Jesus in the Gospels is so completely in relation to the poor.

Those accepting this journey would live and work as volunteers to understand the insecurity and instability with which the poor live. It would never be possible to seek or accept permanent funding sources. Annunciation House would be sustained by spontaneous generosity with no strings attached. Service offered would be to those who could not be assisted by existing programs, agencies or offices.

One day the group was asked to take in a teenager who had been living in the streets. By this action Annunciation House made the first of two basic decisions defining what work it would do. Annunciation House would be a house of hospitality for the homeless poor. The second decision came with the realization there was no place where an entire group of people could receive food, shelter, clothing and medical attention. And thus Annunciation House would primarily serve the undocumented.

There has never been but a small number of volunteers living and working in the house at any given time. There is more left to be done at the end of the day than there was when it started. There is a never-ending flow of guests to be assisted; sometimes more than 100 at once. There is a never ending opportunity to serve and meet Christ among the poor, experience the Gospel more deeply and live it more fully.

Learn more about Fontbonne University Convocation Day.