2016 Ichupampa Peru
Sister Antonia Memorial Soup Kitchen
|Sister Antonia Kayser
July 17, 1924 to July 8, 2010
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sister Antonia moved to Chivay in 1971 and began working on behalf of the poor. There came a time when the officials in town objected to Sister Antonia’s sharp push for social justice. Not to be discouraged, she picked up and moved one town down the Colca Valley to Yanque. She began tilling the gardens of the Conception Parish, living in the sacristy of the church on the town square.
She felt a calling to feed the poor and opened a soup kitchen in 1971. Her program was in continuous daily operation until her passing on August 8, 2010. The kitchen delivered more than 8,736,000 meals during her lifetime.
In 2004, Mike Safley asked Sister Antonia how she had supported this program for so many years. She replied, “God provides.” Incredulous, and pointing out that there was no visible means of support for her Community Kitchen, Mike questioned, “How is this possible with so many mouths to feed?”
Sister Antonina did not hesitate to answer, and with her thick Brooklyn accent she said,
Quechua Benefit believes her outdoor kitchen was a miracle and that Sister Antonia is a Saint. What better way to honor her memory than to name the Community Kitchen that Quechua Benefit intends to build in the earthquake-stricken village of Ichupampa which is just one town down from Yanque:
The Sister Antonia Memorial Community Kitchen