Interview With Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of the Archdiocese of San Antonio

A man smiles in black bishop’s vestments.
Archbishop García-Siller.

Cross Catholic Outreach recently traveled to the Archdiocese of San Antonio to speak with Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller about Catholic social teaching as it relates to the poor and the practice of accompaniment. Below are excerpts from our conversation, which have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Cross Catholic Outreach: Saint Anthony is the patron saint of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. He’s known for his love of the poor. How does his example inspire the faithful here in the archdiocese?

Archbishop García-Siller: His influence has been tremendous, showing us to participate in the life of the poor. You can see in the devotion of the people how the example of St. Anthony has touched their lives. There are so many ministries for the poor here in the archdiocese.

Cross Catholic Outreach: Pope Francis talks a lot about accompaniment and how the Church should engage the poor on a personal level and respect their dignity. How are Catholics in the archdiocese living out this model?

Archbishop García-Siller: We have in the archdiocese a ministry that is like a supermarket, and the people in need can shop for what they need. They choose what they want, and this is important for their dignity. We don’t choose items for them. They choose, and that’s important.

Cross Catholic Outreach: There are so many saints in Church history who are inspirational when it comes to serving the poor. What Catholic saints most inspire you?

Archbishop García-Siller: There are several. One is Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I was blessed to meet her five times. Her presence, her demeanor, the way she connected with people — you could see her devotion to the poor. Of course, there is Saint Francis of Assisi, whom I get to know through readings and prayers. And Blessed Concepción Cabrera, she had a very strong sense of the poor.

Watch the full interview at CrossCatholic.org/interviews.

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