On the Road

19 Sep

I’ve been on the road for the past several days and thought I’d tell you about my travels.

I attended the Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, Wednesday through Friday of this past week. Brushy Fork is an annual gathering of nonprofit leaders from around Appalachia. It provides some excellent educational and professional development opportunities, as well as a chance to network with hundreds of other people involved in a wide variety of important community development efforts.

Then on Friday, I drove from Berea to Hinton, West Virginia, for the annual meeting of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia.  This was my first time at this meeting, but the group was marking its fortieth anniversary, and I was able to meet, chat with, and learn from many people who have been involved in some extraordinary work of social justice here in these mountains for many decades.

They were also marking the 35th anniversary of the publication of This Land Is Home to Me, the landmark pastoral letter by the Catholic bishops of Appalachia, which helped draw the attention of the nation to the poverty and exploitation that the people of the region have endured.

By the way,the town of Hinton, where the meeting was held, was itself worth the trip — what a beautiful location!

I’ll be back at my desk tomorrow morning, refreshed and energized for another day of doing the work we do: responding to situations of emergency and need with immediacy and simplicity, respecting the dignity of all, in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

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