Started by our own Br. Jim Fields 40 years ago. The Franciscan Kitchen in Louisville, KY serves over 400 meals daily.
Hello, I am Friar Jaime Zaragoza. I have just finished my studies in San Antonio, Texas and am now stationed in Indiana and doing ministry in our Franciscan Kitchen in Louisville, Kentucky. I have been looking forward to serving and receiving spiritual growth at the Franciscan Kitchen. Growing up in the Southwest, I was introduced to Liberation Theology, and I find it essential to my spirituality and pursuits for justice. As Gustavo Gutierrez states:
“To abolish injustice and to build a new society, this theology must be verified by the practice of that commitment by active, effective participation in the struggle which the exploited social class has undertaken against their oppressor.”
I have been allowed to go to different parts of Central America, South America, and many different regions in the United States. Many of the towns are still developing, and I have been genuinely appreciative of their hospitality. Throughout my experiences of being a friar, I have received in abundance beautiful hospitality. These experiences have led me to live a mission of hospitality.
The Franciscan Kitchen allows me to practice this mission. I find that while trying to accomplish this mission, I can provide dignity in simple small ways. First, by preparing a meal for the Lord who lives in the people that come to receive physical and spiritual nourishment. Then, by simply saying, “Good to see you.” My favorite response that I have received from the Lord, who resides in His people is, “Good to be seen, brother.” These simple phrases, paired with my work in the kitchen, are my way of “always preaching and when necessary, using words.” This is how I commit to living a progressive theology for the liberation of the oppressed.