Honoring a Life of Service – Lupe Murguria, a worker-priest-organizer

The first leaders

Lupe Murguria receiving an award honoring his service to the National Farm Worker Ministry, presented to him by Cesar Chavez, leader of the movement; and former NFWM directors Fred Eyster and Chris Hartmire. 

Lupe began his tenure with the California Migrant Ministry in 1968 under Chris’s leadership. When the National Farm Worker Ministry was formed in 1971, Lupe and Chris transitioned to the new organization, with Chris as its first executive director and Lupe as an organizer. Lupe, who had served as a worker-priest under the California Migrant Ministry, traveled the country with his wife, Kathy who also worked for the Ministry, serving the workers through the National Farm Worker Ministry until 1992. A farm worker himself, Lupe spoke of his work organizing the workers and both listening to and relating to their needs. Astutely,  his wife Kathy pointed out, “The real story is the commitment the Ministry had to the farm workers.” 

Fred Eyster served as the NFWM’s second executive director, a position he held for three years prior to his death. Fred is recalled fondly by early NFWM staff and self described best friend, Richard Cook: “Fred had his own charisma. He was a church loyalist and was extraordinarily likeable. He sacrificed a lot for the movement.”

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