The Long Loneliness

The Long Loneliness

Mark 13:24-32

24 “In those days, after the suffering of that time, the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. 25 The stars will fall from the sky, and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Human One[a] coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. 27 Then he will send the angels and gather together his chosen people from the four corners of the earth, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.

A lesson from the fig tree

28 “Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that he’s near, at the door. 30 I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until all these things happen. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.

32 “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows. 33  Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming. 34  It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert. 35  Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. 36  Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. 37  What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!”

Donation Options:
American Red Cross
California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund
Charity Navigator – List of charities related to wildfires
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Mark Carlson, head of Lutheran Office of Public Policy and CIPL Steering Committee member, is a former CalFire Firefighter)
California Interfaith Power & Light – working to reduce the causes of climate change

Disaster Preparedness:
Wildfire Preparedness – information and planning
Disaster Planning – for fires, hurricanes, floods and other severe weather events
Community Preparedness Planning – ideas and toolkit
Needs in El Paso

Annunciation House in El Paso is working hard to try to find ways to offer hospitality to up to 1000 individuals and families. They need funds for housing and supplies, and volunteers to staff the shelters and distribute supplies. In addition, we hear that border patrol will not be

assisting people in contacting their families. We expect that will extend the time people will have to stay either of the street or the hospitality center.

If you can manage to volunteer in El Paso please email or call 915-545-4509.There are several rooms at El Convento that can house out of town volunteers. If you need housing please contact Buffy Boesen, SL at

If you can’t volunteer, please consider a donation to Annunciation House to help with the needs of those being released. You can donate online or you can send a check to: Annunciation House, 1003 E San Antonio Ave, El Paso, TX 79901.

Needs in Brownsville
Sr. Norma Pimentel has shared with us that the Brownsville Catholic Charities is also preparing to receive refugees. They are in need of volunteers at the McAllen respite center and I would imagine donations as well.

If you are able to help in welcoming these immigrants, please call Michell Nunez, Sr. Norma’s Executive Assistant, at 956-702-4088 to let her know when you can come. If you need housing, call the Pilgrim House at the San Juan Shrine, 956-787-0033 ext 223. Ask for the special rate for sisters. I think it may be $25 a night per room.

There is great sadness and fear in our State, particularly in Paradise, and Southern California. The fires rage, people are homeless, pain, suffering , and death have drawn near. Our air is filled with smoke, people are afraid. Death has drawn near to all of us! We are now facing the reality of all of us becoming “climate change refugees”.  None of us are safe!

Undocumented immigrants are at our border, in our country, and are suffering.  Much fear is being stirred up around their coming, and they are treated like cattle. They should be welcomed, and yet they are being met with hostility. The darkness of winter hangs over us.

We turn our heads saying, “The government will take care of them”, when we are living in fear for ourselves. People in Florida are suffering dramatically, and we seem to forget about them. The government can only do so much. We need to step up!  Homelessness in California is increasing, and many in Paradise will be homeless. They are elderly, many have health problems, and their money was in their housing, with little else. They have lost everything.

Looking at the fig tree we see new life springing forth, as we will see in our forests as the green sneaks through with new growth in the months ahead. There is hope in the midst of death–thee is resurrection. New life comes as we reach out to our brothers and sisters, we are the new plants springing forth in our embracing others.

And when we reach out to people who are our brothers and sisters who have lost everything and to the homeless and undocumented immigrants we will find new life within ourselves. 

Listed above are ways you can reach out, ways that you can join with our brothers and sisters in this time of pain, and suffering.

Christ comes as we move out of ourselves, as we embrace our brothers and sisters in love, and care, and provide for them, and we know that we are not alone. Dorothy Day talked of the “long loneliness”, and that it ends in reaching out and embracing our brothers and sisters. And doing that is a “hard and dreadful thing,” but one that brings us out of our fear into the company of those who suffer, and we know that others will walk with us in our time of suffering.

Special prayer for victims, first res-ponders and action:

“Loving Creator,
We are grateful for the beauty of Creation and for every living thing upon your Earth.
We recognize that Creation has a natural balance.
We recognize that, by our actions we have interrupted this harmony
through our indifference and too-heavy living upon the Earth,
greatly stressing the inter-connected balance of all eco-systems.

We pray for all those affected by a changing climate and Earth.
We pray especially for those affected by wildfires in California –
those who have lost their homes, their sacred houses of worship and livelihoods.
We especially pray for those who have lost their lives, and those who grieve for them.

We pray for the firefighters, the first responders,
and those who have come out to minister to those affected.
We pray that the fires are contained completely very soon to avoid further loss,
and that communities receive the resources and comfort and aid needed at this time.

Loving Creator, in this new reality of increasing severe weather events,
may we may move forward with wisdom and a re-dedication
to caring for and protecting your beautiful Creation and the abundance of life within it.
For it is in respect for all living things that we help create a world of safety for others,
in which all may have the fullness of life.”

Allis Druffel, CIPL Staff Member Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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