One of our immigrants came to the country and our Catholic Charities received her...She was hungry from her long flight and it had been a long day and it was in the middle of the day. She got to a Catholic agency and they had prepared a meal for her. But she wouldn't eat. Finally, they said, "I thought you were hungry" She said, Well I am. But where are the others? (She was asked) What do you mean? In my culture, we would never eat alone. Eating is a communal activity to be sure that there is enough for everybody And if you ate alone, that would be a sign that you were hoarding food, that you were thinking only of yourself.The Archbishop's Hour radio show on Friday, September 22. This is a story he had heard from Sister Marilyn Lacey told in San Francisco.
"I've never forgotten that story because of our immigrants have a lot to teach us," said Archbishop Wester, who noted the importance of caring for others and eating together.
Bishop Wester's point is that the imperative to feed the hungry and to seek justice is part of our Catholic Social teaching. "It's a call of the Gospel. It's a call of basic human decency that we would want to share our food," said Archbishop Wester.
The topic of hunger was chosen for this show to promote the Feed the Hungry Day on Saturday, Sept. 30, an opportunity to examine viable ways to address hunger within our diocesan borders and to respond in practical ways. I will be a participant in a panel, and Archbishop Wester will end the day with a Mass.
I had appeared on the Archbishop's Hour previously (in April), so I was very familiar with the format and comfortable with speaking on the radio. As usual, host Mary Woods moderated the conversation with ease and asked the right questions to keep the conversation flowing. We addressed many topics related to food insecurity in New Mexico, the Interfaith Hunger Coalition, the importance of local sourcing, and the need to look at the big picture when addressing hunger. We also discussed this Tuesday's End Hunger Summit.
It was an honor and a privilege to share the airwaves with Archbishop Wester.
(The actual interview starts at about Minute 17)