Tailgate lunch with Lamar Hunt Jr., highlighted faith and ministry to others

Lamar Hunt Jr. stands with Chris Ice, Catholic Charities CEO, after Ice gave Lamar a statue of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, patroness of Catholic Charities’ chapel. (Photo courtesy Ellen Petersen, Catholic Charities)

KANSAS CITY — Lamar Hunt Jr. is a familiar name to most people in northwest Missouri, synonymous with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Mavericks. He is the son of Lamar Hunt, grandson of H.L. Hunt, the oil tycoon, an accomplished flautist, formerly with the Kansas City Symphony, a strong Catholic family man and founder/funder of the Loretto Companies.

On Aug. 1, during the Tailgate Lunch with Lamar Hunt, Jr., a fundraiser for Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph held at the Fulkerson Center of Missouri Western University in St. Joseph, he played a short recital of traditional liturgical music on the flute followed by a talk about his family, his faith and philanthropy.

Speaking to a full house, Hunt’s main talk focused on four doors.
Door number one featured Socrates. Hunt said the Greek philosopher spent a life time looking for the truth and there was a heroism to that. One thing that has come down to us from the ancient Greeks and Jewish people is the Interior Life, he said. The Interior Life is hard to understand because so many exterior things are going on in our lives. He urged his listeners to embrace the “idea of knowing thyself, being in touch with and understanding ourselves.”

Door number two was St. Catherine Labouré, Marian visionary and patron saint of the elderly and the infirm. Hunt relayed her story: The ninth of 11 children, St. Catherine was nine years old when her mother died. She picked up a statue of the Blessed Mother, kissed it and said, “My mom’s dead. Now you will be my mom.” She entered the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul, following a dream about him. In July 1830, she heard the voice of a child calling her to the chapel, where she heard the Blessed Virgin Mary say to her, “God wishes to charge you with a mission.” She added that Catherine would be contradicted but she would have the grace to do what needed to be done. Catherine walked away thinking about what she had heard. Four months later, Mary appeared again to Catherine, modeling what is now known as the Miraculous Medal. It took two years, but the proposed medal was finally approved.

“Remember, this was the 1830s,” Hunt said. “No social media, and she didn’t write a book! What she did for the next 45 years was serve the elderly and the infirm. That was her path to daily sanctity. This is how our lives unfold: A daily walk with our Lord, his Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and all the saints. Once God in me is in place, me in others follows. Relationships begin with God in me.”

Door number three consisted of five questions “to ask yourself about how you live your life” that are pertinent to today’s culture.

  1. Are you living unaware?
  2. Are you living in denial?
  3. Am I fearful of speaking out?
  4. Am I waiting for things to get worse?
  5. Am I comfort-seeking and selfish?

In a side story, Hunt spoke of his father, about his work to purchase a pro-football team, establishing the American Football League, bringing the Chiefs to Kansas City and naming the Super Bowl. Hunt recalled his father’s last days before his death in 2006 from prostate cancer. He never complained or griped, Hunt said, he was grateful for the life he was given.

Door number four was Hercules. The story goes, Hunt said, there was a waggoneer who got stuck in the mud. He called on the gods to assist him, particularly Hercules. He was told to put his hand on the wagon and give Hercules a hand with the wagon. “Our Lord does the same thing,” Hunt said, “he asks us to go shoulder to shoulder with him, put our fingers to the plow and give him a hand. Find out what’s important and let’s go do it. … We all have time, talent and treasure. We won’t eradicate poverty or change the world in the way we think it should be changed. But we will share in the ministry of God and share in his life. The life of God in me will help change lives.”

There was a brief Q & A following the talk in which Hunt answered questions including his path to Catholicism and naming the Super Bowl.

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Thursday
December 12, 2019
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph