Humberto medeiros: Advocate for the Poor—Brownsville and Boston: 1966–1983

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© 2019 Catholic University of America. All rights reserved. Based on the Beatitudes of Jesus, as recorded by St. Matthew (5:1–12), the post Vatican II Church has through institutions and individuals made overt efforts to serve the poor to be a basic standard of ministry. Institutionalized as the “preferential option for the poor,” this belief was the foundation upon which Humberto Medeiros, Bishop of Brownsville, Texas (1966–1970) and Cardinal Archbishop of Boston (1970–1983), based his ministry. His understanding of the concept of “the poor” was broad, including not only the economically disadvantaged, but also those who for various reasons found themselves on the periphery of American society. His work with migrant farmworkers in Texas helped them to achieve greater economic justice. In Boston his promotion of low-income housing and work to reform the penal system revealed the breadth with which he understood the poor in American society. His work to achieve greater recognition, dignity and justice for those less advantaged in our society is indeed noteworthy.

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