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The “Our Father” I Lived Yesterday Afternoon

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Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Mari Snyder participated in her first shift at the Migrant Resource Center in Agua Prieta, Mexico, just yards away from the U.S.-Mexico Border. She shares the Our Father in Spanish with a very personal English-language interpretation.


Padre Nuestro,

Our Father,


Que estas en el cielo, 

Who art in heaven, but I’m hoping You’re here with us now.


Santificado sea tu Nombre.

Yes, indeed, and all things are possible with You. I have to trust that in this moment….


Venga tu reino,

Your kingdom come but Your children in need are coming right now … toward us.  Here, at the Migrant Resource Center. 


Hagase tu voluntad,

We will do our best to do Your will. We will. We’ll welcome these 24 men and two women – “Bienvenidos” – and provide simple care like sandwiches, agua, café, atencion medica basic, and cunas (cots). Just please help me recall more Spanish in this clutch moment.


En la tierra como en el cielo.

We need heaven’s help to solve the earthly need we cannot see, the one that makes these souls risk their very lives.


Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada dia;

Give me this day, por favor, ears that hear as fast as this Child of Yours – a “caught and released” migrant  – may speak.

Please let my mind process rapidly, and bolster my memory for Spanish words and grammar. Please help me be fully present to her, to him, with kind eyes and accurate pronunciation. 


Perdona nuestras ofensas,

Jesus chose the perfect word: trespasses. Forgive us our collective trespasses, whether on another people’s land or when we seem to forget how our ancestors left homelands – willingly or unwillingly – and arrived in the United States of America because of persecutions and dispossessions, famines and floods, slavery and trafficking, crime and corruption. Some came because of a simple lack of opportunity.   


Como tambien nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden.

Forgiveness? Understanding is better here. It all comes down to walking in another’s shoes. Or boots. She’s wearing botas, so am I.


No nos dejes caer en tentacion, 

Lead these women and men to safety, God. Please calm the fierce Sonoran desert winds; give these members of Your Holy Family a less stinging, swirling time to leave a communal table under a simple tin-roofed shelter … it’s cold and getting colder for them to set out again.


Y libranos del mal. 

Too much mal en el mundo hoy. Have mercy on us. We place our hope in You, Padre Nuestro. 




Reflection Question: Have you lived a very personal “Padre Nuestro” day recently? 

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Mari Snyder was introduced to the Franciscan charism that deepened her Catholic faith during her college years at St. Bonaventure University and Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Community in Western New York. A native of Scranton, Pa., Mari has lived and worked in the Washington D.C. and suburban Maryland area for more than twenty years. She began her career in sales and public relations, which grew to a global leadership role in corporate social responsibility with a focus on human trafficking prevention, sustainability, and youth employability. Most recently, Mari was in leadership with a small, dynamic nonprofit where she launched an economic empowerment program and worked directly with human trafficking survivors. She serves with FMS as a missioner on the US-Mexico border.