The following comes from an excerpt of Oakland Bishop Michael Barber’s statement on sponsorship of Mexico immersion trips:

November 4, 2015

For a number of years a few parishes in the Diocese of Oakland have sponsored immersion trips to Tijuana Mexico for Catholic teenage volunteers. Our youth and their chaperones generously gave of their time and talent to help build houses for the needy. I applaud the Christian charity and concern for the poor that motivated these trips.

However, circumstances have changed, and it is no longer safe for our youth to travel to this area.

Because of the high level of violence and the danger involved, I have decided to prohibit travel into Mexico for all diocesan groups, whether for adults or youth. If the safety conditions change, I will gladly review this decision.

I want to make clear that this decision is specifically for official groups, parishes and ministries of the Diocese of Oakland. Individual clergy, employees, and parishioners who travel on personal business are not affected by this decision. But the diocese cannot sponsor trips that place our young people in unnecessary danger.

Your servant,
Michael C. Barber, SJ.
Bishop of Oakland