Church of the Apostles to host Migrant Quilt exhibit

Migrant Quilt and Ofrenda at Episcopal Church of the Apostles

Migrant Quilt and Ofrenda at Episcopal Church of the Apostles

Shirin McArthur

Episcopal Church of the Apostles will honor the lives and deaths of migrants during an All Saints and All Souls Sunday on October 29.

Morning services at 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. will include an Ofrenda, or Altar of Remembrance, constructed in the tradition of Dia de los Muertos. Both services will include the reading of the names of loved ones who have died during the past year and the opportunity for anyone to put a photo of a deceased loved one on the Ofrenda.

At 3:00 p.m. on the same day, all are invited to continue honoring the dead at Church of the Apostles with music by Elliott Jones, hot cider and treats, and a chance to see and learn about the Migrant Quilt Project. Migrant Quilts will be on display at this free event, and Peggy Hazard and Jody Ipsen, Migrant Quilt artists, will speak about the story of the quilts.

The Migrant Quilt Project is a collaborative project of artists and quiltmakers who seek to express their compassion for migrants from Mexico and Central America who have died in the deserts of southern Arizona in their search for better lives for themselves and their families. Materials for the quilts come from places used for rest and shelter along established routes through the Sonoran Desert. The quilts are lovingly hand-crafted to bear witness to the lives of these migrants, and also to record all the deaths that take place in southern Arizona during a specific federal fiscal year.

Quilting has long been a way that women have spoken out about social issues. Quilts were made for the temperance, suffrage and abolitionist movements. In the late twentieth century, quilts were made and displayed as a way of remembering those who had died of HIV/AIDS.

Here in the Tucson area, Migrant Quilts is a project of the Los Desconocidos organization. Their quilts memorialize the names of those who have died, or list them as “Unknown.” There are over 150 people represented on each quilt.

Church of the Apostles is located at 12111 N. La Cholla Boulevard in Oro Valley.

To learn more about the Migrant Quilt Project, visit