Hospitality at the Table


By Br. Jerry Johnson, OFM Cap

At the friary at St. Bonaventure, we have a lot of guests. Sometimes these are monks traveling to Rome for meetings or they could be other friars from countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, or India. Whenever we have a visitor at the supper table, we try to “create a space” so that the guest feels invited to tell their story. This space is not just a physical space at the table but also a mental and spiritual space where the conversation isn’t always focused on “me” but rather an openness to the “other.” The table at the soup kitchen works the same way. I try to remember that each person has a deep history and a story to tell. This is a way to begin to acknowledge the inherent dignity and uniqueness of every person.