As we remember former OCM board member Brother David Andrews two years after his passing, we’d like to share with family and friends a letter we sent to Pope Francis in Brother David’s memory.
September 1, 2015
His Holiness, Pope Francis
00120 Vatican City
Dear Pope Francis:
The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) was founded in 1998 as a non-profit public policy and research organization. Our purpose is to advocate for US public policies that reclaim fair and competitive markets in agricultural commodities for farmers and ranchers, rural communities and consumers, as opposed to policies that allow the ongoing concentration and control of the global food system in the hands of fewer and fewer trans- and multinational corporations.
As a civil society organization, we write to you with praise and thanksgiving for the ministry among us of one of the Catholic Church’s finest voices and exemplary leaders for social justice, Brother David Andrews of the Order of The Holy Cross, formerly Executive Director of National Catholic Rural Life. On January 5 of this year at only 70 years of age Brother Dave went to his eternal glory. Each member of the Board of Directors of OCM continues to mourn the loss of our invaluable board member, colleague and dear friend. While we attempt to find an ongoing way to memorialize our cherished brother, we unanimously agreed that we would share our love and appreciation for him with you whose priorities he would certainly endorse, as they are those that he humbly lived and worked to achieve for all 40+ years of his ministry.
We are certain that you would be pleased to know of him.
Brother David blessed us from our earliest efforts with his extraordinary spirituality and his keenly developed skills in networking with people from diverse religious traditions and political philosophies. He was instrumental in bringing together socially and politically progressive groups and organizations that would work with us on shared goals. He was a consummate community and coalition builder. He knew that working together our witness would be stronger and our goals more attainable.
In the midst of an extensive portfolio of tasks and an exhausting travel schedule, he served as our unofficial spiritual director, our prayer invocant, and our wise advisor. Always working through the lens of global social justice, he was a strategic thinker both from a political and a moral perspective. He was the one who most masterfully clarified our moral and ethical values and from that vantage point we would articulate strategically sound political positions. He was an excellent communicator who in writings and in presentations illuminated the ways in which fair, local and competitive markets here and around the globe are vital to creation of a healthier, more socially and economically sustainable — indeed a more just community for all the peoples and environments of the planet. Even in the face of powerful, politically well-connected forces, Brother David never gave up on the belief that together we were doing the Lord’s work and helping to bring God’s Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.
We send this letter to you with our prayers for your continuing strength and health as you offer leadership to the whole world community on our responsibilities to all of God’s creatures and all of creation.