Bishop Daniel E. Flores
Bishop Daniel E. Flores

BROWNSVILLE, RGV – The Bishop of Brownsville, Daniel E. Flores, has praised the work of the Network of Texas Industrial Areas Foundation Organizations, on the occasion of the group’s 40th Anniversary.

IAF leaders from across Texas will celebrate this milestone with an event in San Antonio on April 30, 2016.

The Texas IAF started in San Antonio in 1976 with Communities Organized for Public Service (COPs) and spread from there. In the Rio Grande Valley a sister group to COPS, Valley Interfaith, started in 1983. IAF leaders from across Texas will celebrate the 40th Anniversary with an event in San Antonio on April 30, 2016.

Flores’ praise for IAF came in the form of a letter sent April 4 to Valley Interfaith and Texas IAF leaders. Here is the letter in full:

Dear Valley  Interfaith  and Texas IAF  Leaders,

In this Holy Year of Mercy, as we continue to search for how we can attend to those who suffer, it is fitting to recognize those in the community who are making a difference by helping our neighbors in need.

For more than 40 years Valley Interfaith has served the community in Texas. I commend you for the work you have done to help improve the quality of life for so many. Here in the Rio Grande Valley, the organization has leveraged millions of dollars for basic services for our families, such as clean drinking water in our colonias and resources for our struggling school districts. It has also advocated for legislation that addresses the health care needs of the poorest of the poor and promoted living wages for workers inthe public sector. Through Project VIDA, they have helped thousands of young adults move out of poverty and into careers with family wages.

Valley Interfaith has transformed leaders by teaching them how to organize on behalf of  their communities and act on their faith. All people of good will can and should see the importance of cultivating a community that is concerned about the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized, and work to make the conditions of all people more in keeping with the dignity that comes from being  made human.

Bishop John J. Fitzpatrick, who founded Valley  Interfaith  in  1983, would  be pleased to see that the organization has been a force for change. I pray the work of Valley Interfaith and the Texas IAF Organizations .continue to support the Church’s mission and encourage others to put their faith into action.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Daniel E. Flores, STD

Bishop of Brownsville

Editor’s Note: To mark the 40th Anniversary of IAF in Texas, the Rio Grande Guardian is featuring a series of profiles on Valley Interfaith leaders. Later this week we will post a column from one of its leaders, the Rev. Jerry Frank, on Valley Interfaith’s Living Wage campaign.