The Corner

Because I Had Nothing to Lose

After graduating from Notre Dame in 1980, Joe Uhen spent several years as a lay volunteer with Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity in New York.  Then he decided to leave the United States, devoting the rest of his life to helping the people of the impoverished north of Peru.  He went so far as to break off his theological studies in United States, instead completing them–and becoming ordained as a priest–in Peru.  “I didn’t want to be an American priest in Peru,” Fr. Joe once explained to me.  “I wanted to be a Peruvian priest, under the authority of a Peruvian bishop.”

Fr. Joe had made his decision, he explained, after reading about a group of missionaries who had been murdered near Piuru, the town in which he now serves.  “I thought, That’s where I’ll go.  What have I got to lose?”

“Father, you could have lost your life.”

“That’s what I mean,” Fr. Joe said.  “My life was all I could have lost.”

To listen to Hugh Hewitt’s interview today with Fr. Joe, click here.


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