Residents in the community have to keep their eyes open, and remain vigilant for children suffering from abuse or neglect, according to Bishop Daniel Flores.

The Church will do whatever it can to encourage awareness, and help families be strong, according to the Most Rev. Flores, following a special vigil organized by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children on April 7. The vigil was held at the County Courthouse to commemorate the lives of abused children

As the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, Flores is also the spiritual leader of all churches in the Valley.

“I was very much impressed by the numbers of people who walked from CASA to the Courthouse, and the participation,” Flores said. “It shows that the community really wants to be aware of those children who might be suffering from any abuse or neglect. The community has to keep their eyes open.”

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month, according to CASA. The event is to benefit abused and neglected children across the nation, and those in the community who currently are under the jurisdiction of the county dependency courts.

Every year, CASA partners with Child Protective Services to conduct the vigil, in order to bring attention to the plight of abused and neglected children. CASA and CPS light a tree as a symbol of hope for those children who are currently under the jurisdiction of the courts.

“Not only the Catholic Church, but I think the whole community recognizes that we have to really do everything we can to support family life, and be vigilant over those children who feel neglected whether it’s due to family problems or other things like drugs or alcohol that lead to physical abuse,” Flores said. “Whatever we can do in the Church to encourage awareness. Really we are all interested to help families be strong.”