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Brother Jack and Bishop Sam

5 February 2012

John  Donaghy takes a short break from his somewhat daunting duties as associate director of Caritas (Catholic Social Services) for the Diocese of Copan, Honduras to visit friends in San Crisobal de las Casas, and makes time to visit the very humble tomb of the late, great (and very humble) Samuel Ruiz.

From Hermano Juancito:

Samuel Ruiz' tomb, San Crisobal de las Casas. Photo by John Donaghy

Soon after he became bishop of San Cristóbal, Don Samuel went out to the countryside to visit the villages. In at least one place he accepted the hospitality of a large landowner who fed and housed him and provided him with a horse to get to the villages. The bishop would go out each morning and return in the evening to stay at the landowner’s hacienda. How generous the landowner was!

After a number of visits he asked the people if they appreciated his visits to their villages. “No,” they answered, surprising the bishop. “Why?” he asked. “Because it’s expensive for us.” They then explained that the landowner had them pay for the bishop’s expenses. The landowner was not generous but was again exploiting the poor. After that Don Samuel began to see with a clearer vision and began to take the side of the poor.
This, of course, did not please everyone, including some Vatican officials who appointed an auxiliary bishop, Monseñor Raul Vera, who some think was sent to rein in Don Samuel. Well, God works in mysterious ways. Monseñor Raul Vera also  had an experience which changed him. Now bishop of another diocese he is an outspoken defender of the poor and of human rights.

More on Bishop Sam here and here. On Raul Vera here and here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 6 February 2012 8:09 pm

    “Brother Jack” sounds better to me. My family calls me Jack or Jackie.

    • 6 February 2012 9:05 pm

      Fair enough… though it might confuse my relatives into thinking I was talking about my brother, Jack.

      • 8 February 2012 6:05 am

        You can use Jackie to avoid confusion. Thanks! Or just use Juancito.

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