Archive for November, 2017

The Communion of Saints

November 13, 2017

The Communion  of Saints

The past few weeks have been difficult and are still difficult. I have felt like I was in a dodge ball game, dodging multiple balls.  There have been deaths of young guys, one is missing, people are in pain, and than threats against me, and misunderstandings around me. Homelessness is not getting any better, and it is sad and difficult to see people I  care about live like that.

The phrase from the Apostle’s Creed, “he descended into hell,” describes the ministry whose call I have answered and still answer. Jesus entered his own crucifixion out of love for his brothers and sisters. He chose the way of the cross, out of love regardless of their attitude toward him. Each of us in ministry are challenged to do that, and so again I affirm that call. Painful, lonely, yes, but rewarding. I thought about running this week, just saying to hell with it all, just walking away, but two friends of mine, reminded me of a saying: “A friend is one who sees through the act and enjoys the show,” and they have seen through my act, and I believe they enjoy the show–I do theirs.  In my tough times God has always put one or two people to walk with me.  These two have not walked away, and neither will I. They are both 18 but they have more guts than I will ever  have.

And we are surrounded by all the saints:

“The awareness of being part of the communion of saints makes our hearts as wide as the world. The love with which we love is not just our love; it is the love of Jesus and his saints living in us. When the Spirit of Jesus lives in our hearts, all who have lived their lives in that Spirit live there too. Our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents; our teachers and their teachers; our pastors and their pastors; our spiritual guides and theirs – all the holy men and women who form that long line of love through history – are part of our hearts, where the Spirit of Jesus chooses to dwell.
The communion of saints is not just a network of connections between people. It is first and foremost the community of our hearts. Henri Nouwen”

Around us we are surrounded by social media and twenty four hour news. Much is gossip, much is take out of context, and causes much pain. I have experienced that this week. Rather than talking to me I have been talked around, and that is the most destructive element in our social media age. Face to face contact is crucial in any relationship. I am learning to live in this time, but it is difficult.  I spend half my time on snap chat wondering if I am saying things correctly. We need to talk to each other, to interact.

We have two meals on Tuesday, one in the Haight and one at St. Boniface Shelter. I need some volunteers to help with preparation from 10 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and two volunteers to serve at St. Boniface that night from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 pm. If you are interested please call me at 415-305-2124.

Come and enjoy the show!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164




November 3, 2017
“Where Jacob Wrestled With God”
Temenos Catholic Worker
November, 2017
Fr. River Damien Sims, Director

Journal of An Alien Street Priest
In the last month I have asked a question of a number of street youth, “What are you thankful for?” The answer almost to a one was “my friends, they are always there to support me.”
Each of these guys basically have the clothes they are wearing, their sleeping bags; they are pushed around by people on the street, the police, and are treated as if they are no bodies. Yet they are thankful for their friends.
In this age of social media much of our contact is on line. We do not hear a voice, we do not hear someone tell us that they care, we are detached from the human contact. People hurt, they cry,they feel very much alone.
This holiday season let us reconnect with people.Let us pick up our phones and call and chat; let us move out on the streets and look a homeless person in the eye, feed them, care for them, and connect as one human being to another.
Steve Wentworth wrote:
“Some of the most generous people,
have no money. Some of the wisest people have no education.Some of the kindest people were hurt the most.”
During this season let us reflect on that quote, and open our hearts to one another.
Spiritus! Creator Spirit!
Thanksgiving Meals
November 21: Homeless Shelter, St. Boniface Church, Golden Gate Avenue–6:00 p.m.
Meal on Polk and Haight Street will be served at Noon.  Want to help call 415-305-2124.
Thank You

Recently I sent an email out to many of you asking you to donate to the foot ball team of Matthew Lasky. We have been very successful thanks to you, and for that I thank you and Matthew thanks you. Several have asked me “Why this particular young man, you have never done that before?  It is pretty simple Matt has been a volunteer for over two years, and many of the guys love him dearly; He has been my very good friend in the ups and downs of life.  So this was my way of showing appreciation. Thank you for giving, and for your trust in both of us.
We Are Beggars!
We are beggars! We take no grants, but rely on your generosity and your care! We have never gone with out, always have what we need! And so we beg at this time of year you give from the bottom of your heart to those who have so little, who come to us for socks and food, and pastoral care.  You may give by mailing a check to:
Temenos Catholic Worker
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164
or through pay pal which you can find on the website at
Thank you!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Fr. River Damien