Messy Jesus Business

Messy Jesus Business

Sister Christa Parra: Accompanying At the Border

April 20, 2023

Episode 62 of Messy Jesus Business podcast, with Sister Julia Walsh.

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"Whoever is in front of us we are called to love." -Sister Christa Parra


For this episode of Messy Jesus Business podcast, Sister Julia Walsh chats with an old friend, Sister Christa Parra, IBVM. Sister Christa shares her vocation story and how she became a Catholic Sister. Though she served in Peru before joining the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and went to Catholic Theological Union, her desire to serve people where they are led her to accompany the people at the US-Mexico border, specifically in Ciudad Juárez.

“I want to be able to live with the people and be involved in their daily lives, and to sit with them in their struggles and their joys," says Sister Christa.

Sister Christa also tells some of the tragic stories happening to women and refugees in Juárez (and a warning to listeners: many of these stories contain terrible violence and suffering). But always, Sister Christa tells us, the humanity of the people living there, Mexican and refugees, shines through. Also, Christa tells Julia that while she and her fellow workers give the refugees a chance to regroup before the next stages of their journeys, but they also form a community with each other and become a family.

Sister Christa adds, “When our families come to us all we can do is love them, provide them basics, and also to learn from [them] because our siblings teach us how to accompany.”


Sister Christa Parra is a member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is part of an intercongregational intercultural community in El Paso, Texas and a third generation Mexican-American from a small border town in Arizona. A graduate of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, she earned a Master of Divinity and Certificate in Hispanic Theology and Ministry in 2016. She loves serving our brothers and sisters in Christ and presently does so through a pastoral accompaniment role at a shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

*To donate directly to Sister Christa and the IBVM's ministry in Ciudad Juárez:

Under the "Designation Tab" choose Ministry FundUnder "Leave a comment" type "Migrant Ministry in Ciudad Juarez"

*To learn more about and donate to Annunciation House in El Paso go to:

*Facebook page for Casa Eudes in Juárez:

*Website for Centro Santa Catalina in Juárez:

*Sister Christa's page at Catholic Women Preach:

*Sister Christa's speech at Catholic Theological Union's 2016 graduation ceremony:

MESSY JESUS BUSINESS is hosted by Sister Julia Walsh. 

Produced and edited by Colin Wambsgans.

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Twitter: @messyjesusbiz