Eternal Rest Grant to Her: The Passing of a Great Labor Advocate

by Fr. Sinclair Oubre, JCL, Spiritual Moderator of the Catholic Labor Network

Earlier this month, Robert Kambic called me with the sad news that his loving wife of 51 years and life-long workers and union advocate had passed away. Mary Kambic’s life was one of total commitment to her Catholic Faith and our Catholic Social Teaching regarding workers and unions.

There are so many labor stories that it would take a book to list them all. However, she and I worked together on one labor struggle that connected Pasadena, Texas and Baltimore Maryland. In 1996, Crown Petroleum lockedout their 252 Local 4-227 Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE) workers (now USW workers). The lockout lasted 5 years, and while I joined workers on the picket line in Pasedena, Mary lobbied the Jesuit priest, Fr. Hap Ridley, who sat on the Crown Petroleum Board of Directors. Sadly, she was not able to move him.

Mary and Robert always came to our CLN meeting during the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in D.C., and on a number of occasions, they showed me hospitality and warm Baltimore welcomes.

Even when Mary was struggling her health, she continued to work to organize adjunct professors at local Baltimore community colleges.

Mother Jones and Dorothy Day, you have a new heavenly sister.

Fr. Sinclair Oubre, J.C.L.

CLN Spiritual Moderator