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Reflections

Challenge to End Hunger—Sr. Susannah Malarkey, OP

Challenge to End Hunger—Sr. Susannah Malarkey, OP

Sr. Susannah Malarkey, OP offers the following reflection on our Catholic Sisters Week Challenge to End Hunger—a challenge that, for her, has to do with the personal experience of the strong connection between the hunger for food, and the hunger for that solidarity among us all as fellow human beings on this home planet, that goes beyond the actual hunger pangs. She reflects, “No matter where I have been engaged in the actual delivery of food to the hungry—at St. Vincent’s de Paul in San Rafael, at Lima Center in St. Dominic’s Parish in San Francisco, at the dining room of the Casa de Los Pobres in Tijuana, or during an occasional personal encounter with a hungry person, it is always the same.”

Sister Susannah continues, “Yes, the food is crucial for survival, and we cannot ignore the need to ensure by all means possible that every person living on this Earth has sufficient food to grow and develop in a healthy body to support the work of mind and spirit that keeps us deeply connected as a human family. One time when I was driving home to Dominican Convent from a doctor’s appointment in downtown San Rafael, I stopped at Starbucks for a cup of coffee. As I was beginning the drive up Grand Avenue, coffee cup in hand, I saw a very frail young African American man, standing by the side of the road, leaning against a light pole (I can see him in my mind to this day!). He was looking out at the street and the cars going by, but going nowhere. I went back for another cup of coffee, parked the car, walked over, and invited the young man to join me for a cup of coffee. We sat down on a bench, shared our coffee, and talked. He clearly had a lot of needs, but what he needed most at that time was human companionship, with a light touch and a listening ear; it was an experience of the human family.

“How will the cry of the poor find an echo in our lives?” spoke Pope John XXIII at the end of the Vatican Council II. Food, clothing, and housing, yes. But the recognition and experience of being one human family, the solidarity and love that evokes, is an echo still crying to be heard in our world today.

Sr. Susannah Malarkey’s story is part of our 2021 Catholic Sisters Week series a time during which we are participating in a Challenge to End Hunger in collaboration with other congregations. We aim to inspire our friends and neighbors to lend their support in any way they can to help end hunger, not just during Catholic Sisters Week, but throughout the year.

#catholicsistersweek #changingtheworld #celebratingtraditions

#justiceOPportunity Thursday–May 6, 2021

Sr. Judy Lu McDonnell, OP
Ms. Lyn Kirkconnell

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Preachers of  Truth • Love • Justice