Archbishop John C. Wester has long been a strong advocate for setting aside the fear to bring about peace. In his own words:
Our country has potent and painful reminders of what happens when fear rules. . . . , the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the unjust internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the 1939 tragedy of the S.S St. Louis in which 937 German Jews were denied entry to the U.S., and most recently, the post 9/11 National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) requiring “extreme vetting” and the discriminatory targeting of Muslims. Our experience tells us that such programs are ill advised and ineffectual, and fail to honor the basic human dignity of those in need. These responses are based in fear. Our Lord himself tells us that fear is useless, that what is most important is love, compassion, and God’s enduring mercy. (February 3, 2017)
It is for his love, compassion and witness of the mercy of the Most High that this award goes to Archbishop John Charles Wester.