Peniel August

July 30, 2018


August, 2018

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

Growing up in the South, the dog days of August were very real. The weather was hot, humid, we stayed around the house most of the day until the sun set. We drank a lot of ice tea, ate a lot of watermelon, and barbecued. They were days of reflection, and of looking ahead to the coming year.

In reflecting this year during this time I think of our countries psyche  and  my own life.  For me I have discovered within my life, and with  what is  happening  in the greater world similarities.

 I have discovered that my own desire to connect can sometimes become an inordinate attachment to receiving praise, love, and acceptance from others. I often struggle with sacrificing integrity and authenticity to orchestrate attachment to others. There is a phrase from the Henry Rollins album, “weight”, which says: “Loneliness will make you throw your sins away.”

Loneliness eats at our very souls, and I have found I will throw away everything to have a friend, and always it is in vain. The same in our country, we are so afraid we are going to lose the  freedoms and rights we have gained, that we “throw our sins away,” losing our sense of respect for the dialogue of other people who differ from us.

Doing these dog days of August I am listening to the Spirit, and am being reminded  not to fear, to respond in truth and love and to trust. And that is my prayer for others—do not fear, respond in truth and love, and trust each other. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Weekly Meals:

It has become apparent that personally I will not be able to prepare weekly meals alone.  We are asking for volunteers who will put in 4-5  hours a week to package and help serve the meals on the street. Thank you.

We now have two new interns, they are Cale King and Aaron Olaya, Juniors in High School from San Rafael, CA. Both are passionate and caring about people, and find working with us rewarding.

​                                                                                       Aaron                                                                       Cale

 Aaron and Cale.png

Death Penalty Protest:

September 5, Noon-1:00 p.m. we will begin our weekly Death Penalty Protest.  The Death Penalty is in humane, and makes of all of us murderers. Come join us!

We Are Beggars!

Our finances are very low. We are in need of socks, we are in need of money for food, and so we beg, for your support. We continue to minister to 500 plus young people a month through our pastoral care, socks, food, and needle exchange. And so as you reflect during these dog days we pray you will remember us. Please give:

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Pay Pal at

Our web site has been changed to a new server it is much easier to go directly to Pay Pal and give directly through your Pay Pal account



Steadfastness in Being Different

February 17, 2020



“Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you  know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And lt steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-3

    Yesterday I was told, “you are different”, as I have been told “you act like a child,” as well,  neither in a positive way. And I acknowledge both as being true, thanking God for these two gifts.

    My life has been shaped by three experiences, all of which intermingle, and are vary much a part of each other:  my relationship with Jesus, and the  Church, and my time living on the street as a whore, and my years in ministry on the street.

    The Church introduced me to Jesus, and threw me out when I questioned my sexuality, in doing so we came to see  her as a place for broken, beaten, people, who hurt others, and yet through the Holy Spirit that brokenness finds healing and  transforms the world. Like a mustard seed it grows in the middle of the weeds.  The Church is people, and as a result she hurts others in many ways, and yet at her best she brings much joy, and provides so much hope.  As Dorothy Day once said, “The Church is both a whore, and our holy mother.” Nothing in this world is black and white. That is why we need to let down our blinders and be gentle with one another.

    People are always asking me about my time living on the street, being a whore, and now. I say little, unless we talk in general terms, which frankly glorifies both. Our time living on the street was a horrible, devastating, and yet redeeming time. We saw, experienced and lived in a world    violence, hopelessness, hunger, fear, and pain every day.  It was a time of not knowing what the next minute brings, where the next meal would be coming from, when there would be a meal, and a warm place to sleep,  and with no hope of getting out of that world. It was, and is a very dark place to be and live. As the unknown author says, “The street transforms every ordinary day into a series of quick questions and every incorrect answer risks a beat down, shooting, or a pregnancy.”

    Each day the street offers offers death both physically and spiritually. It is not a place to glorify. Yet it was a time of transformation, in that we met Jesus again, and in a new way, making days on the street both then and now, days of grace.

    I have PTSD from those days, and my experiences here in the last 25 years, it comes with the territory, and I see in it a gift of God, my thorn in the flesh.

    The Church was not present, never did I find any pastoral care  on the street, the only time we saw religion  on the street was when we had groups pounding the Bible on our heads, offering a salvation that made one sick to your  stomach, or other groups trying to draw us in for their own personal ambitious purposes. Most of which were demonic.

    And now I continue to see violence, hopelessness, fear, and a lack of meaning on the street. It is not pretty, it is not artistic, it is raw. And it is not pretty, but painful, to see people walk by and not give a damn. The street was scary, painful, and fear provoking and still is, and yet  by learning to be steadfast in Christ, we have grown, and continue to grow, and in so doing our life is being transformed, and we are  like a child, open to the wonder of the world, accepting with out judgment others.  We live in no tribe. We are  damn proud when people call us “different”, and tell us “you act like a kid,” for it means the Holy Spirit is working in our life. It means we are  not stuck, but growing.

    Last week the dad of one of my friends paid me the greatest compliment, saying, “I see you with the kids, and it appears you are a big kid, just like them, and then as I take my time and observe you closely  I see that you are an adult, guiding, and caring for them, without them knowing, and that is why I never worry when he is out with you, I sleep soundly.”

    My greatest learning is in being steadfast in Jesus, trusting in him, and  that we are all equal, we are all broken human beings, and it is in walking with one another as equals that growth and redemption nurtures and develops.

    My friend the Reverend Gregory Weeks wrote this piece, which sums up in a more “adult” manner, (Greg is the real adult here) the way in which Jesus calls us to follow him:

“If you stray to the right or the left, you will hear a word that comes from behind you: “This is the way; walk in it.” –Isaiah 30:21

One of the most profound revelations I’ve ever come across is that we are programmed to be either liberal or conservative. We’re predetermined to traditional values and vote Republican, or to lean toward progressive ones and vote Democrat. Jonathan Haidt, in his book The Righteous Mind, explains this in detail.

So, whether we stray to the right or to the left, there are people straying in the opposite direction, thinking they are just as correct as we think we are. No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I think I’ll be dense today.” We all wake up looking at the world through the lens with which we’re born.

I guess the beginning of wisdom is to work on this humility thing. To expand my field of vision, don’t I need to try and look through others’ lenses?

Maybe a good start is not getting so upset because the “other side” just doesn’t get it. They’re just as upset at us as we are at them. So, why not just learn more about what they’re thinking and why they’re thinking it?

Full disclosure: I will never vote for Donald Trump. Yet really good people wear MAGA hats. So, what am I missing? And what are they missing? We’ll never know unless we stop talking at, and start listening to, each other.

Jesus envisioned a community where we could all come together, acknowledge our limitations, and accept each other as equally flawed, equally promising brothers and sisters. In so doing, we hear the Christ’s voice calling from behind, “THIS is the way. Walk in it!”

It really shouldn’t be all that difficult, should it?”


Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



Peniel—Newsletter Temenos Catholic Worker, Lent

February 16, 2020


“Where Jacob wrestled with God!”

Newsletter of Temenos Catholic Workier

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

Fr. River Sims, Director


Lent, 2020


Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

    One of my fondest memories is listening to the church bells in Amsterdam, especially late at night, as one wandered the streets. They rang with hymns every four hours, a reminder of God’s presence. Each day as we awoke we were reminded of God’s presence being with us during the day, and in our final moments before sleep they put us to sleep with the assurance God was with us.

    In the day time as we  wandered in and out of the cathedrals one would find tourist shops, and museums–they were simply shells of a faith long past.

    The institutional church is becoming a shell of what it once was: severe decline in membership and worship attendance, under law suit and judgement by society over all, what once was,  is now  in decline. The “none”s, those who have no membership are now the majority.

    On Ash Wednesday, February 26, many of us will receive the mark of the ashes reminding us that we are mortal, and that Jesus is our Savior.

    Hearing the words, “Remember O man, you are dust, and to dust you shall  return,” is a chilling reminder of our mortality, and frees us from the prison of perfection, and the judgment of others, and is a call to accept our own wrong doings. When we are naked before our Creator we begin to understand the salvation that Jesus offers us with his love.

    In Mark’s Gospel, as the food was gathered up after the feeding of the five  thousand we read: “They picked up the fragments left over–. . .” reminding us of the extraordinary ability of Jesus to multiply and make limitless what seems, at the moment, limited; teaching that when we feel we are worthless,  mere crumbs in the eyes of the world, God sees something more.

    Muriel Lester observes, “We should stop praying the Lord’s Prayer until we can see that we are tied to the same living tether not only with our fellow countrymen and people of the same faith, but with everybody on the planet.”

    Rather than hold on to what was, we should walk into what is, and into the future, striving to be the Beloved Community, recognizing  Christ is Universal, and is Cosmic, reflecting all faith expressions, calling us into caring for every creature on earth.  In so doing every fragment is a treasure. Every piece has value. And God want let any of it be tossed aside. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Ash Wednesday–February 26, 2020

    On Ash Wednesday we will walk Polk Street and Haight Street, sharing food, fellowship, and offering ashes. We will begin at 3:00 p.m. in the Haight, and continue at 9:00 p.m, on Polk. If any one is interested please call at 415-305-2124. We will be taking our time. So there are no time limits.


Lenten Reflection 2020: Repenting of Ecological Sin and Cultivating Ecological Virtues:

        In the recent Roman Catholic Synod on the Amazon, ecological sin  was defined “as an action or omission against God, against one’s neighbor, the community and the environment.” The seven deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, sloth) can be away where we have turned away from our Creator and creation.

    Through Lent–each week-on Facebook, and our website–we will examine each of these sins through the lens of creation and is paired with an ecological virtue that can help us restore our relationships and to live in sublime communion.

    We invite you to reflect with us on each one of these sins during this time. We would love to discuss your feelings and reflection on each one. Our preference is for you to call us, where we can personally interact, but as always email, face book, snap chat, and text are available any time.


    Holy Thursday, April 9, 2020:

    We will begin at 3:00 p.m. blessing  sandwiches and chips, as elements of the Eucharist, and than walk through the Haight, visiting, and sharing. We will follow the same process on Polk at 9:00 p.m. Any one is welcome but simply know there is no time limit, and our focus is on our celebration.


Good Friday, April 10, 2020–12 Noon-until 2:00 p.m.

Nineteen Annual Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

“Small Pebbles”

Each of our acts is a small pebble that has consequences through out eternity.

Beginning at Polk side City Hall

If you would like to read a Station please contact us at 415-305-2124

This is a witness to Christ being crucified in front of us in the people on the streets, those who are struggling to keep their housing, and keep food on the table. We are not about numbers, but a witness.


Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020–Service of Holy Communion

Golden Gate Park

9:00 a.m.

We will take anyone in attendance or who is around  out for breakfast afterward.



    We are begging for money, we depend on your gifts to support our ministry. We are a 501 c.3, non-profit. Our needs have increased–we give a thousand pairs of socks a week, feed, and provide pastoral care.

    With the increase in our beloved on the street  our funds are low. Personally I will begin working with the Census in order to raise extra money, so if you can give, please do so.

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



    Our thanks to the Reverend Gregory Weeks for being our editor on the Good Friday Service. Our thanks to Bill and Dina Tieje for the donation of our van.


May the Lord bless you and keep you! May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and may the Lord make his countenance shine on you and grant you peace!Amen.

Thank you,



Station 12: Jesus Dies on the Cross and Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

February 11, 2020

Station 12: Jesus Dies on the Cross and Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

    Jesus struggled to breathe, pulling himself up to let air in to his lungs. As he hung on the cross he spoke of mercy and love, forgiving the thief and his enemies. With his last breath he died.

    As we have moved  through the Tenderloin we have seen people  selling drugs, begging for food, sleeping in the doorways and in the alley’s. We see life, and we see death.

    We see Jesus being laid in his tomb. As we picture this scene, let us place the image of the empty tomb before our eyes. Whenever we stand outside of any tomb, and grieve remember this empty tomb,  and know that through the eyes of faith, all tombs are empty. Through the eyes of faith we can become Christ and empty the tombs of hunger, homelessness, meaningless, and want.

    Oscar Romero speaks to us in these moments:

“We live in a time of struggle between truth and lies, between sincerity, which almost no one believes still, and hypocrisy and intrigue. Let’s not be afraid brothers and sisters; let’s try to be sincere, to love truth; let’s try to model ourselves on Christ Jesus. It is time for us to have a great sense of selection, of discernment.”

How will we practice Christ Jesus’ way of love, justice, and truth this day?

Join me in signing ourselves with the sign of his cross, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. We adore you Oh Christ and we bless you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Amen.


Father River Damien Sims,sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


The Tenderloin Stations of the Cross will begin at 12 Noon on April 10th, in front of City Hall on the Polk side. If any one would like to volunteer to be a reader, please let me know. river+

Station 11: Jesus Nailed to the Cross

February 10, 2020

Station 11: Jesus Nailed to the Cross

    We wear crosses made out of precious metal, with diamonds encased, and they are lovely. But the cross  Jesus was nailed to  was made of rugged wood, and crude nails were hammered into his hands and feet.

    The very hands that healed so many were held open, and nails, driven in, causing them to gush blood. The look on his face gave  a glimpse of the spasms of pain which  ran  through his body.

    Jesus was nailed to the cross not as an atonement, a sacrifice for our individual sins, but as one who is seeking to restore justice through demonstrating his absolute love for humanity, calling each of us to seek restoration of our lives and society.

    Retribution is seen in our world in our methods of dealing with people on the margins. When people who are seen on the street, mentally ill, abusing drugs, people of color, who live in poor neighborhoods come to the surface, we are afraid, and seek retribution–our way of pushing a side what we choose not to see or deal with.  Our prisons are full of people of color, and the poor.

    We can talk about “social justice”,  and “peace and justice”, in general terms, giving us goosebumps as we see social justice as packing food , giving used clothes to people, and sharing food, that  is given to us by the food bank from behind a table. We feel good as we go home to our nice apartments and houses, visiting  with our wonderful  friends , believing we have done  our part. Just gives us goose bumps!

    Jesus tells us to “Take up your cross,” and “follow me”. His call is for each of us to walk the streets, to pound on the doors of politicians, to give people housing, to provide for medical treatment, and food. To walk with them as Jesus, who is nailed to the Cross, and in so doing,  pointing  to the resurrection, and to restoration.

    When we reach the bottom, we are experiencing what it means to be “poor in spirit”, (Matthew 5:3), where we have no privilege to prove or protect but much to seek and become. Jesus calls such people “blessed”, and Dorthy Day said as much in these words:

“The only way to live in any true security is to live so close to the bottom that when you fall you do not have too far to drop, you do not have much to lose.”  Let us become as small pebbles being cast into the sea of restoration.

Let us pray:

God as we meditate on Jesus being nailed to the cross, we ask that as we see his pain, his willingness to suffer for  humanity and the desire for us to  find restoration in changed lives open to love,  that we too can follow him, and give ourselves a way, and become “poor in spirit.” In the name of Jesus, Amen.


Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


The Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped

February 10, 2020


Tbe Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped

    Jesus was stripped. Can you imagine how violated Jesus felt when he was stripped naked. They intended to shame him by crucifying him with no clothes. They simply had to strip him of any dignity he had left.

    As we read of journey of the undocumented immigrants on our borders, and in our cities, we see them stripped of their dignity by being placed in “camps,” and the treatment as if they are POW’s. This is not just something happening now, the United States has  isolated and imprisoned immigrants from day one mostly those who are — people of color.

    We see the  homeless are being treated with “tough love”, being pushed in shelters where food and living conditions are unacceptable, and living on our streets.

         Nelson Mandela once said: “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  If we truly want to be free, our lives must be lived with seeking to respect and encourage the freedom of the dispossessed, the poor, the immigrants, and minorities.

    Thomas Merton described one of the best ways to strip ourselves of our ego and our fears, and in so doing, like Jesus identify completely with those who suffer:

“Humility consists in being precisely the person you actually are before God, and since no two people are alike, if you have the humility to be yourself you will not be like anyone else in the universe. It is not humility to insist on being someone that you are not. It is as much as saying that you know better than God who you are and who you ought to be. How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another person’s city? How do you expect to reach your own perfection by leading someone else’s life?”

     May we lead our lives being who we are and acknowledging that we all are on the same journey, and are entitled to the same benefits. Let us cast pebbles of love and in so doing touch the lives of all in creation.  Let us pray:

Jesus as we see you stripped, humiliated, we are reminded that to identify with you, we too must be stripped of our ego, which leads to our self-centeredness, and live our lives as we are with no pretenses. In so doing we become one with you and our brothers and sisters everywhere. Amen.

Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


19th Annual Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

“Casting Pebbles”

Good Friday, April 10, 2020

12 Noon

Meet in front of City Hall, Polk Street side

Christ Crucified!

February 9, 2020

Christ Crucified!

I Corinthians 2:2 “And I when I came to you, brothers and sisters, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech  or wisdom, For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

        February 5 would have been the birthday of Trayvon Martin, and he was murdered on February 25 2012, his seventeenth year. On these days of remembering Trayvon my mind remembers the killing of one young man, whom I will call James, who was accused of murder when he was fourteen, discovered he was not the one who committed the murder, and last year was shot down in the street. A young man who was black, and attended a Catholic High School; I see the faces of young people of color who have been murdered on our streets, go mostly unnoticed, or are blamed for their own murder as a result of where they live or who they hang out with.

    Bob Marley, a Jamaican, wrote and sung songs, like “Iron Lion, Zion”, and “Redemption Song”, from his own experience with oppression and suffering. He sung of grace, mercy, and restoration.

    In Trayvon, James, and all the others who are each day suffering on our streets we see Christ crucified.

    Each person who sleeps on the street, without housing, health care, food, and each person who barely subsists on social security, or who are elderly and alone, is Christ crucified in our midst. People who are fighting to keep their housing is Christ crucified.

    Nida Fazli wrote:

Someone is Hindu,

someone is Muslim,

someone is Christian

Everyone is hell-bent on not becoming a human being.

    Jesus was not a Christian, he was fully a human being who loved his neighbor, and suffered and died for his neighbor. It is a lonely, painful walk, to not be a Christian, but to simply work at becoming more and more human.

    Frankly it is lonely, painful, to enter into the pain of others, to become Christ crucified, but it is in  being crucified with Christ that we enter into the resurrection. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.


Station 9: Jesus Falls the Third Time

February 9, 2020

Station 9: Jesus Falls the Third Time

    This final fall is one we will always remember. Having endured  a beating and losing so much blood, Jesus is so weak he falls a third time. He appears dead laying on the ground. His arms spread out, laying in the dirt, Jesus found solidarity with all who fall any way.

    Remembering of how the soldiers roughly pull Jesus up and made him take his last steps to Calvary, we identify with

   individuals who are in our door ways, mentally ill, beaten down by drug abuse, and by mistreatment of people in general; they are dirty, and are lying face down in the dirt. Many will never be able to get up again, and live as we imagine they should live. The truth is life sucks, and we often do not draw the higher card. We fall, we can not get up.

    As Jesus understands our every weakness, especially those we can not over come, let us express gratitude for his understanding and pray that we too may understand the weakness of our brothers and sisters whose weaknesses lay them flat on the ground. Let us in the name of Jesus provide, housing, health care, and food for every person, without exception.

Let us pray:

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen. Fr. Richard Rhor


Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

Station 8: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

February 9, 2020

Station 8: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

    Jesus, in his own pain, comforts, a group of women who greet him along the way to Calvary. They try to comfort him, but he looks on them with love and compassion and their hearts are transformed, as they see their mission is that of love and compassion with out judgment. It is good to reflect here, with him, on the mission each of us has that can be shaped by this encounter with his suffering, death and resurrection.

    Terrence McGrath a wealthy Piedmont resident opened  his his 4 million home to a homeless couple last year. Mr. McGrath entered into the agreement with  the couple would find jobs, get their own place, but in living with them he has learned several things. First his exclusive neighbors would not understand, and have been afraid, and secondly, ending homelessness is not a matter of getting a job or “tough love.” This couple has been homeless for several generations, the daughter is homeless. 

    McGrath has learned that the root of homelessness is many has many facets, it is not just a housing problem. Not everyone has the capacity, physical or mental–to do what it takes to support themselves.

    McGrath in in his evolution of this thoughts on homelessness  has given them his word he will not kick them out, if he moves, he will provide for them. The street is about survival, an existence that’s physically and mentally draining. Homeless breaks down minds, bodies, and hearts.Recovering from that drama takes more than four walls–but walls help tremendously. McGrath has made a commitment  to them: “I’ll never abandon them. I’m never going to not finish with them.”

    Jesus is never finished with us! He will never abandon us! 

    It is good to reflect here, with him, on the mission each of us has that can be shaped by this encounter with his suffering, death and resurrection, “for me”. Thank him for this brief time to recall the gift we have received and ask yourself, what small pebbles we  can cast?

The street transforms every ordinary day into a series of quick questions and every incorrect answer risks a beat down, shooting or pregnancy.” (author unkown)


Let us pray:

“Lord, show us that reconciling wit those we imagine are different from us is not only for peace, but also train us more deeply in the faith that honors everything created by your hand. Help us see that reconciliation leads us to deeper knowledge of you. Amen. (Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne)


Father River Damien Sims, Sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

Nineteenth Annual Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

Friday, April 10, 2020

Begin in front of City Hall at Noon

Polk/Mac Allister side


Station 7–Jesus Falls the Second Time

February 6, 2020

Station 7: Jesus Falls the Second Time

As Jesus progressed towards Calvary,  he became  tired emotionally, and physically and fell a second time. People were yelling threats of condemnation, and hatred, many who had supported him and hailed his entry on Palm Sunday. People are fickle, and when we are in crowds of those like us–we stick together.

    We see that in the divisions of our society, the wealthy, the upper middle class,and middle class white privileged people stay separate, people of color stay in their groups;  homeless stay huddle together; youth and young adults in their group; We are afraid to cross over our boundaries, and in not doing so we fail to understand each other, and fail to be each other’s brother and sister.

    Jesus breaks down  boundaries, which  is one of the reasons he is carrying the cross. Jesus recognizes that each of us in the words of Douglas Preston . .“have a Monster within, the difference is in the degree, not in kind.”  Jesus fell under the weight of that knowledge.

    He calls us to open our eyes to each other, get out of our boundaries, and love one other. He calls us to break through our boundaries and see each person  as equals, all on the same journey, all needing support.

    During this election year we see, and hear, and feel the divide among people. Painful and hateful words are said, and one can see there is a “Monster with, the difference is in the degree” of each of us.

    Our friend, the Reverend Gregory Weeks, wrote a blog article , and  one that  personally  we all of us will take to  heart: Reflect upon his words, and remember Jesus falling under the weight of  the cross,  and  of the rejection of his brothers and sisters.:

Christian Values and the Presidency–By the Reverend Gregory Weeks:

“After witnessing the recent State of the Union speech and its aftermath, I’ve made a resolution.

In the election of our next president, I no longer care much about political party, nor even about a conservative or liberal orientation. Rather, after the votes are tallied in November, I hope the result will be the election of a president who embodies at least a few Christian values.

While there may be disagreement between the right and the left in terms of what those values may be, I’m talking about the ones that are non-debatable. They’re what Jesus laid out in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). He said his disciples should be: Compassionate. Merciful. Humble. Honest. Moral. Non-judgmental. Courageous. Peace-loving. Forgiving. Devout. Disciplined. Self-aware.

He never limited these values to only the populace and not the leaders. Nor did he say that to embrace such characteristics you had to affirm creeds or dogma. Simply put: to live in the kingdom of this world as his disciple, you must live as if the kingdom of God really matters.

So, regardless of party or even religion, I want our next president to claim such a moral stance.

This sounds idealistic and naïve, given the hard realities of political life. A good leader must also be smart, politically savvy, experienced, and a strategic thinker. The person must also know when to compromise for a greater good, such as when armed conflict may be the only alternative.

Yet, I will feel a lot more comfortable knowing that the most powerful person in the world has a solid moral base.

Having a moral base promotes a broader vision rather than a narrow one. Christian values transcend national boundaries and party lines. They are the glue bonding the whole of human society.

Also, someone who lives out such values is a person I can trust. They have integrity. I will more likely believe what they say without having to first fact check it.

Finally, if a president’s values align with those preached by Jesus, then the values will impact policies. Immigration. Relations with the international community. Equal rights. Climate. Health care. Business regulations. Policies reflect priorities, and priorities shoulld arise from what someone holds as sacred truths.

So, in the ensuing debates, caucuses, and election, I’ll be re-reading Jesus’ first sermon as a refresher. I hope whoever wins in November will do the same. If so, regardless of the person’s creed or lack thereof, I’ll sleep better. If they share values Jesus thought was important, that’s good enough for me.”

    Let us remember that each of us can plant small pebbles of Love!


Nineteenth Annual Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

Planting Small Pebbles

Good Friday, April 10, 2020

12 Noon

Meet in Front of City Hall on Polk Street

Anyone wanting to Volunteer Please Contact Fr. River at 415-305-2124


Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Veronica Station 6–Stations of the Cross

February 5, 2020

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

    On the face of Jesus was spit, blood,  and violence. As  Veronica wiped his face she saw the depth of his solidarity, his union with us in our suffering and rejection.

   We are reminded of a young man, on a  “Snickers” t.v. commercial  who was paid a fee to go out and give people snicker bars. As he gave out the bars, his face shined, and he commented, “I spend the majority of my time on social media, and this is really fun, interacting  one on one with “real people.” Our smart phones, computers, and social media cut us off from face to face contact. We become robots, have no sense of union and solidarity with others, no sense of the suffering of others, and of sharing our own suffering.

    St. Ignatius teaches us “indifference.” He describes letting our lives center on God, being of service to others, simply serving and giving of ourselves. We do not worry about the costs, effectiveness, expectations and criticisms of others–we simply give of ourselves in service.

    Veronica wiping the face of Jesus symbolizes our caring for people in the name of Jesus without expectation. Each night thousands of people of all ages sleep on our streets, suffer because of no food, health insurance, and more importantly suffer because of their lack of love. People suffer because of our robot response.

    Veronica calls us to  care for each other in our personal interactions, in simple ways, in our one on one interactions.     Rather than worry about our present, past, future, our health, and well being , let us live and enjoy each moment of life,  care for each person we come in contact with. Let us give out snickers all day long!

Let us pray:

    Jesus, our vocation comes out of who we are now, our greatest strength and our greatest need. You call us to follow you. We are not pointed on the road to independence, but through our weakness are reminded to keep following you or we will otherwise be lost. You are  the Savior we need. Amen.


Father River Damien Sims sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164