Why a Servant Church? An Autobiography Father Ralph Kuehner by Ralph Kuehner

ISBN: 9781480172869

Published: February 18th 2013

Paperback

100 pages


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Why a Servant Church? An Autobiography  by  Father Ralph Kuehner by Ralph Kuehner

Why a Servant Church? An Autobiography by Father Ralph Kuehner by Ralph Kuehner
February 18th 2013 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 100 pages | ISBN: 9781480172869 | 6.42 Mb

I have written this book to deal with an important issue in the Catholic Church. There are different activities of the Church, such as Masses, missionary work, education. But often overlooked is the need for justice and charity. I hope to convinceMoreI have written this book to deal with an important issue in the Catholic Church.

There are different activities of the Church, such as Masses, missionary work, education. But often overlooked is the need for justice and charity. I hope to convince the reader that practicing charity and pursuing justice are essential elements of the Church, necessary for every Catholic. To achieve my goal I begin with my situation as a youngster. I grew up in Scranton, PA, a coal mining town. I attended grade school from 1930 to 1938, during the time of the Great Depression.

Through my parents eyes I saw the serious problems of survival for families. They needed a Church that would be supportive. After grade school I went to the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio for twelve years - high school, college and theology. The purpose of that seminary was to help poor boys. There was no charge for board or tuition.

Parents were asked to donate $100 a year, if they could. It was an amazing example of the Church reaching out, in this case to poor boys. I do not believe I could have attended any other seminary given my parents financial situation at that time. I became a priest in 1950. I then went to graduate school for four years where I received degrees in theology and Scripture. The schools that I attended were good examples of a Church reaching out to the needy. Catholic University (1950 - 1953) gave me a scholarship for one year. I was having financial problems. Then the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome charged only $13.00 for the years tuition.

Again this was helpful as I had to pay for my trip to and from Rome and for the course books I needed. In 1967, I moved and became a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington. I had taught Biblical Greek and New Testament Interpretation at the Josephinum from 1954 to 1967. Once I walked the streets of Washington, I saw clearly the need for a Church that would reach out to the needy. Homeless and hungry people were a constant reality on the streets of DC.

I was able to work with a good group of concerned citizens, especially Father Horace McKenna, SJ, to start an organization called SOME (So Others Might Eat). Amazingly SOME has provided food for the needy every day since 1970. We were committed to providing meals every day, since the poor need to eat every day. At this time, SOME is feeding some 900 people come daily for meals.

I was also able to start a housing corporation, Victory Housing when I was stationed at that parish in 1979. It is now an Archdiocesan housing corporation. Victory has been able to build 1,872 units and 88% of them are affordable. My goal from the beginning was to develop apartments available to the needy. Many people cannot afford the normal prices for housing.

The Archdiocese of Washington provides chaplains for the local prisons and develops programs to help the prisoners. A current program is called Welcome Home in which volunteer mentors work with prisoners to prepare for leaving incarceration. The mentors then help the men or women who are released to find employment and housing. Without the essentials of employment and housing, the men and women who leave jail will likely return. Many of the Archdiocesan efforts for the needy involve interfaith action, especially the Interfaith Conference of Greater Washington (IFC).

Starting in 1979 with three denominations, IFC now has eleven denominations in active participation. The members have two goals - getting to know each other better and helping the needy. The examples I have cited above indicate that there is much to be done for the needy. Thank God for all that is being achieved, but there must be a greater commitment to become a truly Servant Church, in imitation of Jesus, who said that he had not come to be served, but to SERVE!



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