|At National Gathering with Terrance Ruth (Orlando, FL)|
|With Angela Ruprock-Schafer (Plymouth, IN)|
Graham Golden, a Norbertine Seminarian from Albuquerque, and I were the only two New Mexicans at the National Gathering this past June. I discovered that Graham has a great skill: networking. That helped him make a lot of friends during the gathering and served us well during our visits to congressional offices on Lobby Day. While I wore a coat and tie, Graham wore his white habit on our visits to the offices of Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, and Reps. Martin Heinrich, Steve Pearce and Ben Ray Lujan. (Okay, it wasn't just two of us on the visit to Rep. Pearce. We invited Angela Ruprock-Schafer from Indiana, whom we encountered somewhere between Cannon and Rayburn buildings, to join us on that visit).
On at least one occasion , a congressional staffer addressed Graham as "Father." The habit, in fact, provided Graham the opportunity to speak with authority about how creating a Circle of Protection for the poor was not just a political decision, but a moral one.
Graham will go on to theolgical studies in Chicago, but his intention is to come back to Albuquerque eventually, where he is scheduled to make solemn vows in three years, also on the Feast of St. Augustine. Norbertine life is guided by the Order of St. Augustine.
We are ccertain Graham will continue to make Bread for the World a part of his mission when he returns to our community. After all, he will have a strong support system. The Community of Santa Maria de la Vid and Holy Rosary Parish in Albuquerue have been among our strongest advocates in Albuquerque.