Archive for December, 2015

The Hunger Games Blessed Are the Pure In Heart

December 11, 2015


“You are blessed when you get your inside world–your mind and your heart put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. Matthew 5:8

How can I account for this generation?  The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, “We wanted to skp rope, and you were always tired; we wanted to talk, by you were always busy.  . . .Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Matthew 11:16=19

As  the train arrives at the Capitol at the beginning of the Hunger Games Katniss sees the beauty of the City, and and how all the people are in what appears to be costumes, they are so dressed that they look fake.

San Francisco, and other cities are being “gentrified”–they are being made to look artificial for those who have money and prestige. And they are fake in their looks.  The Super Bowl is coming to San Francisco and the Market area will look like the perfect world-no homeless, no dirt.  The new buildings present the same image. People who make minimum wage are pushed out of the City, and expected to come in and serve the rich. Yesterday we had lunch with an elderly gentleman who like most people in the neighborhood asked me: “Where are the people you feed?”  We do not look at our own footstep, for the people we feed are under your feet.

The Mayor is proposing new homeless measures–and as we read his proposal, we look back to twenty years when the same measures were proposed. This problem is a national problem, it is a problem of the system where the rich get richer, and it is our problem because we do not feed our neighbor and provide for them. People are talked about as objects frankly, it is dehumanizing.

This Advent we should awaken to the reality of  the pain and poverty in our own world, throw off the fake clothes and the make up and scream at our leaders–and we should feed one person a day, visit with one person a day, simply be a presence to one person a day. You would be surprised what might happen.  Just be present to someone. Move away from your cell phones, your texting, your social networks and look someone in the eye and listen.

Dr. Will Tuttle says:

“Being willing to look, see, respond, and reconnect with all our neighbors and live this interconnectedness inspires us naturally to choose food, entertainment, clothing, and products that cause a minimum of unnecessary cruelty to vulnerable living beings. As we do this, we become more mindful of the ripples our actions cause in the world. Our spiritual transformation deepens, and as our sensitivity increases we yearn to bless others more and to be a voice for the voiceless.”

“Opinion polls do not count–The proof of the pudding is in the eating. ” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Fr. River Damien Sims, Pastor and Director

Prayer Is An Act of Love

December 10, 2015


Servant of God Bernard of Quintavalle

St. Teresa of Avila said: “Prayer is an act of love, words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love.”  

I have gotten to the point where I do not like to discuss homelessness with housed people for one simple reason–we are discussing on a theoretical level,  which is cold and cut off from people. As it rains outside my heart is over come with pain for my guys sleeping on the street; I will take out food, blankets, and socks, but they are in pain and miserable. Below is an article I received this morning. As you read it move from theory to the heart; move from analyzing to the heart, think of human beings, and think of your comfort–I hope you are uneasy with that comfort and move out do something–feed someone, give them a blanket–just one person at a time, and all would be taken care of–government is not the answer–what is the answer is each of us caring for our brothers and sisters. If I am blunt it is because I hear the rain, see the suffering:


“There’s nowhere to go to the bathroom around here,” said Rick Briscoe, who is homeless and has been living on the streets of Berkeley for about a year now. Although the city does have public restrooms, the closest ones to where Briscoe hangs out are several blocks away, which makes it difficult for him because of recent health problems. He said he’s also hesitant to leave his belongings unattended for long. “It’s not easy to pack all this stuff up — it can take forty minutes!” he said, as he pointed to his things sprawled around him on the Shattuck Avenue sidewalk.

Homeless advocates say that people like Briscoe will be deeply impacted by new measures that the Berkeley City Council recently greenlighted to deal with the city’s homeless population. The measures are designed to eliminate urinating and defecating in public parks and open spaces, and to prevent homeless people from sleeping in planters boxes for trees.

“We want people to use the bathrooms — that’s the bottom line,” said Berkeley Councilmember Linda Maio, who backed the new measures. “If the police have to urge them to do that because they see them doing their business, then they’ll be much more likely to do it now that the language is strengthened.”

The controversy over Berkeley’s new measures has received a substantial amount of news coverage. But some experts say that what has been overlooked in the debate is the lack of access that many homeless people have to restrooms. Briscoe said that if it were not for some shopkeepers who let him use their facilities after their customers leave, he would have few choices.

“The thing that resonates with most people is that lack of toilets really leads to this global burden of disease caused by diarrhea. From the public health perspective, I think that’s the biggest issue,” said Rachel Sklar, a public health researcher at the Environmental Health Sciences Department of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Sklar’s work goes beyond urban toilets, to focus on the 2.5 billion people globally who lack reliable, safe access to a bathroom, although the problem certainly isn’t limited to the developing world.
click to enlarge Night on the Streets Catholic Worker volunteers distribute breakfast to people living outside on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. – BERT JOHNSON

Bert Johnson
Night on the Streets Catholic Worker volunteers distribute breakfast to people living outside on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley.

In the wealthy Bay Area, the scarcity of clean, safe restrooms remains a harsh reality for many people. According to the Alameda Countywide Homeless Count and Survey Report, more than 4,200 homeless persons were estimated to be living in Alameda County at the time of the last survey in 2013. Of those, about 2,300 were categorized as “unsheltered persons,” or people not housed in a shelter or transitional housing service.

Maio said the council recognizes the need for restrooms that are open around the clock, but she also pointed out the challenges with providing them. “We had a bathroom at People’s Park, which required a person to be there. It became a place where people did drugs, it was pretty horrible,” she said. She also mentioned the public toilets behind City Hall, which are closed for part of the day. “This is a bathroom in a building, and it’s closed from 10 [a.m.] to 4 [p.m.] because we found people in there during the day engaging in sexual acts. … That was not good.”

Outside a McDonald’s on Shattuck, Neil Mortensen agreed that downtown Berkeley is a challenging place to find a public restroom for homeless people like him. Recently, they seem to be even less available, and the ones that are open often have a line, he said. “I understand that they’re worried about prostitution and drugs,” he said, “but these things have been going on for years. In the meantime, we need a place to go to the bathroom!”

The council is looking into ways to meet the demand for more public restrooms. Options include keeping some public restrooms open 24 hours, adding mobile shower units, which would include restrooms, or fostering a relationship with BART. The transit agency closed its underground public restrooms after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, based on a recommendation of the US Department of Homeland Security. “The recommendation still stands. BART directors, staff, and BART police are reviewing options of reopening the closed restrooms if remodeled in a way that keeps them safe,” BART spokesperson Alicia Trost wrote in an email to me. “We want to provide a restroom, but safety is important as underground stations continue to be a threat.”

Homeless advocates say that Berkeley’s new measures won’t work without more public restrooms — and will only serve to criminalize homeless people for a problem that isn’t their fault. “The public toilets are better described as shit houses! They’re absolutely horrible,” said. J.C. Orton, who works with the Berkeley-based group, Night on the Streets Catholic Worker.

Each year, in an effort to get local high school students to think about the plight of homeless people with empathy, Orton sends out a group of students with no wallets, keys, or phones for a day and challenges them to find a toilet to use without being a paying customer. “It’s a poor, poor job that the government and private citizens and businesses have done with regards to providing access to toilet facilities,” he said. “And I don’t mean just toilet bowls and urinals, but showers, sinks — the whole bit.”
click to enlarge J.C. Orton.

J.C. Orton.

Orton added that the porta-potties installed by the city are unfit for use. “I suggested to people, ‘Go ahead and use the public toilet that’s over there, the porta-potty-type toilet the city puts up,'” he said. “They go in there, and say, ‘Oh I can’t do that.’ Homeless people are considered by some as second-class citizens — they’ll just make do. But this is one main problem, is that the toilets that are there, that are public, they’re absolutely horrible!”

According to the city website, Berkeley has 24 public restroom locations. The hours of availability range from 5:15 a.m. to 2 a.m., but that changes by the day of the week and by location. None are currently open continuously.

“We do have a maintenance schedule for all of them,” said city spokesperson Matthai Chakko. “If there are complaints, then we try and figure out different ways to change the maintenance schedule, or increase the maintenance schedule. We do our best, but if people have complaints, they can always let us know.”

Cost is a factor in scaling up sanitation efforts. According to estimates compiled by BART staff, installation of a street level restroom unit can cost $300,000 to $400,000, while an underground restroom could cost anywhere between $100,000 to $525,000. Continued maintenance for a s

The Hunger Games; Blessed are the Merciful

December 9, 2015


“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being “care-full, you find yourselves cared for.” Matt. 5:7 The Message

Through out the Hunger Games Katniss struggles with the killing of human  beings, and in the end she descends into a major depressive episode that reintegrates herself into loving all of life.

My colleague Dr. Will Tuttle gives one reason for being a vegan:

“The key to veganism is that it is lived. No one can be a vegetarian in theory only!Unlike many religious teachings that are primarily theoretical and internal, veganism is solidly practical. The motivation of veganism is compassion.It is not at all about personal purity or individual health or salvation, except as these bless others. It is a concrete, visible way of living that flows from, and reinforces, a sense of caring and connectedness.”

For us  personally veganism is a respect for all of life, it is a way of engaging with the beauty of creation, and in that engagement seeing life as the most sacred of God’s creations. It is showing compassion to all–every creature.

It is no secret that we work with people who are on trial for murder, we work with people on death row, we work with people who have done the most heinous crimes.  We believe that we should receive punishment for crimes, but also we are called to show mercy.   For in mercy God’s Spirit can move and change and create new life out of the wreck of the old. Our lives are like a beautiful piece of scarred wood, from the healing there comes beauty, and we all deserve that chance to heal and find beauty in our lives.

Sam Portaro says, “To enter Advent we leave fear for faith.” As we continue in Advent we invite you to leave your fears for faith. Your fears of terrorism, of the difference in classes of people; you fears of other religion, your fears of your economic security, your fears of health. Open your life to faith, and to trust in God as you know God, and in your fellow human beings.

It took Katniss a life time, and a life full of suffering, to come to peace, and it will take us  a life time as well, we have to work at it, but in leaving fear behind–and holding on to faith our lives become beautiful. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

The Hunger Games

December 6, 2015

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ”
The system of bread and circus thrives in Panem The people in the Districts hunger for actual bread to fill their starving bellies and for freedom from the oppressive control of the Capitol. The citizens of the Capitol hunger to be entertained, to be distracted and thrilled with the latest gossip, fashions and the sick human drama of the Games. The leaders of Panem hunger too-for power and control.
Peeta threw a burned loaf of bread to Katniss who is starving giving her hope. Peeta is well fed, he works in his mom’s bakery and is full, but he is a young guy who feels the needs of Katniss and others, and risks himself to meet those needs.
Their world is not much different than our world. The Super Bowl is coming in February–we are moving our homeless out of the area; Thanksgiving I encountered people who had not eaten all day; it is estimated that there are 300,000 plus homeless in California alone; one out of four go hungry in San Francisco.
We turn our heads and ignore the pain in our midst; we go to our sports events, to shopping and entertainment events, averting our eyes to the poverty on the streets.
This Advent we are invited to turn our eyes away from the distractions put in front of us and see the pain, the hunger, the homelessness that is around us–and to move out and work to create an equal society where all are fed.
N.T. Wright sums up our task:
“If we are to be kingdom-announcers, modeling the new the new way of being human, we are also to be cross bearers. This is a strange and dark theme that is also our birthright as followers of Jesus. Shaping our world is never for a Christian a matter of gong out arrogantly thinking we can just get on with the job, reorganizing the world according to some model we have in mind. It is a matter of sharing and bearing the pain and puzzlement of the world so that the crucified love of God in Christ may be brought to bear healingly upon the world at exactly that point. .Because, as he himself said following him involves taking up the cross, we should expect, as the New Testament tells us repeatedly, that to build on his foundation will be to find the cross etched into the pattern of our life and work over and over again.”
Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Temenos Catholic Worker
Fr. River Damien Sims, Pastor/Director
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164

The Hunger Games: Part III

December 4, 2015

“The Hunger Games: Blessed Are the Meek”–Park III
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place in The Hunger Games. She does so out of love for her sister. The Message: translates Matthew 5:5: “You are blessed when you are content with who you are, no more, no less. That moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
Katniss knows her sister comes first, and you can not buy love. Being meek is seen as weak, but the reality when one is meek he or she has the ability to control his or her impulses so as to love and serve others around them.
We are over whelmed by all the events: the shooting in southern California, the refugee crisis, the wars in Syria; the homeless crisis; the price of housing. We tend to get divided and see everything from a selfish perspective. We lash out and in so doing we cause pain and hurt.
Since last Thursday I have been suffering from tendentious. The pain has been excruciating. Today is the first day since last Friday that I feel like even doing anything. I had promised to cook meals for a retreat, but the day I was to go I could not even get in my car and drive–as I tried to give the retreat leader some ideas I realized he could not listen to me, to my pain and cut me off; I have had several people call me basically angry over things I really am still not sure of what I did; Frankly I admit that there is truth in all things said to me: “I am selfish, self centered, a liar, a hypocrite and so on, and I also say that I try as hard as any one to meet the needs of people. I have learned that my flaws are many, and that I have no understanding of why God called me to ministry, and there are others who can do ministry far better than I can. The reality is I am a human being, with all of the flaws of every human being, and as I work on them those flaws become beautiful in that piece of scarred wood.” I am so imperfect, but I do aim for the target of perfection and miss more than I hit.
In essence what The Hunger Games calls us to do is to look at ourselves and see that we are all flawed, and look beyond ourselves to others. And today we need to remind ourselves first of all we are all immigrants unless we are are a hundred per cent Native American, and look at the acts of people, not categorize people; we need to look around us and see the massive homelessness that is through out our country–and do what we can, little by little; we need to talk to people in person and listen, put ourselves second.
I was talking today with 29 year old Eric, who is getting married,and has a job as a dish washer, he has been on the street for ten years. He jokingly commented, “You know River in all these years I could identify with you because u are just like I am- a fu. .up.” All he has experienced is judgment–he is a street kid, simply trying, the best he can. He is as equal to me or to you as any one. That is what we need to face–we are all flawed.
The character Katniss is a flawed human being, but from her flaws she moves out in love and care. We can move out as meek people willing to serve others, putting ourselves second.
1. Talk to a homeless person, feed them, listen and I mean listen to their stories. One woman I met was a doctor, she has mental illness, ran through her insurance, has been on the street for ten years–so listen.
2. Pray for all people involved in the shootings.
3. Pray for the refugees and contact our leaders and request they work with the President on giving them refuge.
Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Temenos Catholic Worker
Fr. River Damien Sims, Pastor/Director
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 04164

A New Way of Seeing

December 4, 2015

Matthew 9:27-31 A New Way of Seeing”  Clement of Alexander

We live in a time when to believe we have to be shown; text messaging, email, all are something you can see.One young guy told me he does not believe in using the phone because people can take you out of context, you have to have proof.  The blind men in today’s Gospel who were afflicted are saved by believing in God before they are heal. Without faith Jesus implies we are all blind, and today we see that in the way we respond to people, to the environment, and all the problems of humanity.

In this season of self-examination and and preparation of the coming of Christ I found this prayer which I give to you. Read it, pray it, think about it, let it be a part of your life:

“Lord, teach me to see with the eyes of faith.

To see myself, even when I am tempted to despise my failures, as your cherished child.

To see others, however distressing their disguises, as images of you.

To see your cross in my own sufferings.

To trust completely in your healing love, whether I “see your answers to my prayers or not.”

The truth of the Gospel is contrary to the world’s for believing is seeing. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!”

“In the Crashing Surf”

December 3, 2015

I remember a time I was surfing and was got caught up in the crashing surf–it scared me to death–I almost lost it.  Yesterday a young guy called me from the hospital and I went to see him and he commented, “Everyone else walks away, but no matter how I treat you and what I do, you always return, you are always here.”

The blessing of living in the crashing surf is one learns there is only One you can depend upon and that is Jesus.  And when you anchor yourself in him you are able to be a solid piece of land for others. I am quite aware I have few friends, if any.  I have many acquaintances, and am a friend to thousands, but personally have  few friends.

I am blunt, direct, and I do not compromise on some positions; I have lived and worked  on the streets for so long that I am rough, the world I live in is not an easy one; As I have been told many times by my housed friends, you are “different” or “special”–not one person but a number, all of which says a lot–and it separates me from them.  But that has been a blessing in itself  for it has lead me to depend on Christ–and he never fails; it has lead me to be the best friend I can be to my guys.  I was so sick yesterday I could hardly lift my head and one of the guys wanted me to pay his phone bill, he kept texting and texting, and as I became angrier and angrier I realized his own neediness, and I got up and paid the damn bill. And we talked and he cried because he knew I was sick, but it was strange–all I felt was love for him.

As I write this I know that a few will dwell on my personal reflections, but frankly it is about our own reflections on the way we treat people that I am reflecting upon. We are afraid of differences, we are so caught up in this world of technology, texting, and computer we fail to see the human being. We simply do not take time to look a person in the eye and listen.  We have lost sight of the humanity of others. We see this  in the comments made about the refugees, and now the shootings on social media. Than we move on to the next event. 

With the shootings, the violence in society, we need to be  a solid rock to stand upon, and in so doing each of us needs to give love–not just texting and face book remarks but real love–to people, and in so doing we can transform society. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

The Hunger Games

December 2, 2015


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt. 5:4

Today the institutional church is struggling with all of its sins around race, sexuality, failure to oppose the war. It is not a place where you can mourn or cry. The church reflect society:

1. The caskets of soldiers are not allowed to be viewed by the media; we are never told of the thousand so innocent victims in our wars. We have been at war as long as I can remember, and yet the pain is never shown.

2. Homelessness is demonized. Churches stay clear of homeless people.  All of our governments–local, state, and national–put a face of people using the system on the homeless; our candidates and leaders very seldom look at homelessness. they Dehumanize people who receive food stamps–when the majority work minimum wage jobs. We never show poverty in our media–when a vast majority of our country live in poverty.

Barbara Taylor Brown said: 

“Repentance begins with the decision to return to relationship: to accept our God-given place in community,and to choose a way of life that increases life for all members of that community.  Needful to say this often involves painful changes, which is why most of us prefer remorse to repentance. We would rather say, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I feel really awful about what I have done. than actually start doing things differently.”

Jesus showed that living in the reign of God means welcoming the those who face oppression and suffering and being close enough to learn their stories so we can empathize and mourn. We are facing a backlash on receiving refugees for whom we are basically responsible for their countries conflict–we need to face them, mourn with them, and see them for the simple, suffering human beings they are.

This means challenging cultural constraints and seeing things that those in power might not want us to notice, hearing the stories of injustice that might have us look at things differently.

The reign of God is a place for mourning. Even if it means subverting the mandates of the powers that be, following the way of Jesus means never pretending that everything is just fine. It means opening our eyes to reality, it means committing to the hard path of mourning even if it is embarrassing or involves repentance.  Katniss could not mourn until she faced the horrors around her, and in facing  them  she discovered as we will discover that the process of mourning brings its own comfort. The Capitol does not want us to mourn–for mourning brings healing and it brings changes in which we confront the reality around us. It is time to mourn. Mourn and than in faith being a person of change.

1, Talk to a homeless person, hear their story, listen to their story–why are they here, and asked yourself what you can do?

2. Work in your community for the resettlement of refugees, talk to people involved;

3. Write your congressional leaders: both state and federal and support refugee resettlement.

Temenos Newsletter

December 2, 2015

December Newsletter
Lent, 2007;
“Where Jacob Wrestled with God” Father River Damien Sims M.Div., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656,
San Francisco, CA 94164

Telephone: 415-305-2124

1. 46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
2. 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
3. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
4. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
5. 50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
6. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
7. 52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
8. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
9. 54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
10. 55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.
11. 56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
As we enter Advent and the Christmas Season, we will be overwhelmed with the commercials of the “perfect” Christmas where everyone is happy and having a joyful time. The world that I live and move in is just the opposite. I see people of all ages struggling to survive minute by minute: Jay, a 15-year-old Chinese young man thrown out of his home because he is gay, simply living with anything he can find; Judi, 30, who is a sex worker, a drug user, a mother, going from one “date” to another; Larry who has a grocery basket full of belongings, and sleeps outside my door and hangs out on Polk each day, simply living; and the list goes on and on. There are thousands of individuals like these guys, literally thousands, and they are passed by each day ignored, mistreated. The majority have some form of mental illness, and little treatment available.
Lance Cheslock wrote an article in the La Puente Newsletter in which he states that HOMELESSNESS IS A SYMPTOM, NOT A PROBLEM and he says:
“Homelessness is a symptom of:
-Lack of affordable housing
-Fallout from addiction
-High employment
-Lack of low-wage jobs for low skilled workers
-Access to health care
-Limitations of services for the mentally ill, veterans, immigrants and other subpopulations
-Family dysfunction/domestic violence.”
The message of Mary is that Jesus is bringing in the reign of God NOW. The reign of God comes into the present in the actions of those who follow Jesus. We can make a difference in our own “little way,” as St. Teresa once said. We can advocate through the mail, email, text, phone, and in person with our legislators to face the reality of the homeless crisis–to change our funding to meet those needs, and to work with people on looking at how each one of us can meet those needs. Governor Jerry Brown has taken actions to deal with the drought. We need like-minded actions to deal with homelessness–they will be tough, they will affect all of us, but we need to sacrifice to provide for others;
Secondly, each of us can work with our local churches, synagogues, temples, and secular organizations to open their doors for the homeless, to provide shelter, food, and healthcare. We need to move out of our “tribes” into the world at large and provide for people;
Thirdly, each of us can participate in the “little way” of St. Teresa by simply paying attention to people we encounter on the street. One of my street youth commented to me recently, when he saw me and I did not have the food he liked, “River, it does not matter. You spend time with me, everyone else does not give a f…ck.” It is simply in the giving of our presence that Christ meets people. Buy them something to eat or to drink, give them some of your excess clothes. If you have none of that, simply chat with someone–that means life or death to many, the human touch of voice and care.
Let us rejoice in God our Savior this Advent Season–let us be Christ to others! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
December 24
Meal and Christmas Gifts in the Haight at 3:00–6:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Meal and Gifts in Hemlock Alley on Polk
December 25
Service/Snacks/Gifts in the Haight at 5:00 p.m.
Temenos Catholic Worker, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit, operates on donations–your gifts, given out of the generosity of your hearts. We give out ten thousand pairs of socks a month; feed countless meals; provide pastoral care to many; hang out with countless individuals. We make countless hospital calls. Only two percent of our budget goes to administrative costs. The needs are increasing. People are always asking how do you survive, and our answer is by the grace of God, and the generosity of people who love others. So please open up your hearts and minds to our needs.
This year we are giving each person on the street a stocking cap–we have purchased 1000 stocking caps. They are your gifts.
For those of you who have given this past year, if you need a tax summary please email me at and I will send you one.
Thank you for your giving this past year, thank you for your love of me, and your love of the individuals we serve. They are not clients, parishioners to me, but my friends, and your friends as well.
Please give through snail mail:
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164
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May you have a Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Thank you really from the bottom of my heart.