Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen, the epitome of the Vatican II bishop

America Magazine

July 23, 2018

By John A. McCoy

Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen may have been the epitome of the Vatican II bishop—pastoral, ecumenical, inclusive and relevant. He loved telling a good story.

One he retold often was about the potluck picnic that the parishioners of a small-town parish hosted for him in the city park across the street from the church. Hunthausen took a paper plate, served himself some fried chicken, baked beans and fruit salad and looked for a place to sit. All the tables were occupied. So he found himself a spot on the lawn next to a youngster who was wolfing down the meal.

The boy, who had no idea who Archbishop Hunthausen was, chatted away about his school, his friends and his new bike. When he paused to eat some more, the archbishop asked him: “Where’d you get that tin plate? Everybody else has a paper one.”

The boy motioned at a house across the street. “At home,” he replied. “I saw there was a picnic going on, so I got my tin plate and came on over.”

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