/ Modified apr 2, 2014 5:17 p.m.

Catholic Leaders Celebrate Mass Along Border, Pray for Reform

Several hundred people attended ceremony Tues. and a few dozen people peered through the border fence from Mexico.

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A delegation of Roman Catholic leaders held Mass along the U.S.-Mexico border to raise awareness about immigration and to pray for policy changes.

bordermass1 focuslarge Bishop Gerald Kicanas at the U.S. -Mexico border wall (PHOTO: Fernanda Echavarri, AZPM)

Several hundred people attended the ceremony Tuesday and a few dozen people peered through the border fence from Mexico to watch the mass, which was held in Spanish.

Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas gave the Holy Communion through the fence to people in Mexico.

The Diocese of Tucson organized the event to send a message to Pope Francis about the struggle of migrants in the U.S. Previously, the pope visited a Mediterranean island where African migrants die trying to immigrate to Europe.

"Whether it’s the struggle of the economic migrant, some of the Border Patrol issues faces like drug trafficking and human trafficking, some of the fears and struggles of ranchers," Kicanas said. "The primary purpose of the delegation is to raise consciousness to pray for those who have died along our border, both the migrants and the Border Patrol agents."

Before Mass, the Catholic leaders took a tour of Nogales to see spots where immigrants come into the country.

The two-day event with Catholic leaders from across the country began Monday with a meeting with representatives from the U.S. Border Patrol and a tour of the desert.

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