In the small Texas town of Raymondville, BCFS Health and Human Services operates a transitional home for children in the custody of Office of Refugee Resettlement. Although BCFS runs numerous other transitional homes and emergency shelters nationwide, the history of this campus makes it especially stirring.
The BCFS Raymondville campus, which many still refer to as “Holy Ground,” was once a home for Catholic priests serving all over the county. Built in 1989, the facility could house ten priests and came equipped with a chapel and common room. In the bedrooms and halls where priests once spent time in quiet prayer and reflection, giggles and the sound of children playing now fill the air. The chapel is still used for Mass and worship services for the children.
There are approximately 50 children living at the home at any time, sent to the facility by the United States Office of Refugee Resettlement. The children, who escaped poverty-stricken nations plagued with violence and corruption, find peace, rest and hope in the BCFS home. So it’s only fitting that this place, once dedicated to the spiritual replenishment of those who serve as God’s hands and feet on earth, now shelters God’s most precious creations.
Hundreds of children have passed through the home, which many in the community still affectionately refer to as the “Priests’ House” or “La Casa de los Padres.” The children arrive hungry, devastated and frightened of the unknown – but on this “Holy Ground” they experience God’s peace, hope and love.