Peniel–August Newsletter of Temenos Catholic Worker

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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

AUGUST, 2019



    Nearly four weeks ago at 3 a.m. we walked out of  the apartment building  to go to the train station, going to Palm Springs to enter a retreat:  The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, in the coming three and a half weeks,  and looking  around saw people sleeping in our door way, in the filth of their bodies, used needles scattered, and the pain of so many. There was a feeling of being in Gotham City–a place so dreadful, where no light shined.

    We  were overwhelmed of our own fears of having to pay for recent dental surgery, and more to come, feeling  being pressed to the wall.     Money is short for our ministry, and with the surgery, we would not be able to use our own personal finances  for socks etc. Our friend, Edna, had provided the extra three weeks at a time share in Palm Springs for this retreat, which for us was the touch of Christ. 

    The question being considered: “Is it time to pack our bags and walk away?” We have given twenty five years, so why more? Friends, donors, walk away criticizing, and we frankly feel depleted.” People question what we do all the time.

    Through these weeks of slowly going through the Exercises we have sweated, cried  constantly, grieved, entered into times of  deep depression, and experiencing fears of  getting older, illness, and of losing our place where we live.  We look back at deaths, and daily listening to the pain of people who have little hope. And we raise the question of our own value.

    We listen over and over to the  words of Rainer Marla Rilke, and meditate on the Gospel of the Retreat, applying them to our journey:

“You asked whether your verses are good. You ask me. You have asked others before. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems. ..I beg you to give up all that. You are looking outward and that above all you should not do now. Nobody can counsel and help you, no body. There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you to write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it was denied you to write. This above all–ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night; must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must.” then build your life accordingly to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and testimony to it.

      With these words repeatedly   the words of Simone Weill run through our mind:

“Attention is the rarest form of generosity,” and “The love of our neighbor in all of its fullness simply means being able to say: “What are you going through?”

    The ministry of listening is the one to which we were called to so many years ago,  listening and  letting people  enter into  our life in such way, where they feel at home. That means pain, giving our self away.  And the words of the Velveteen Rabbit ring in our ears: “Wasn’t I Real before?” asked the little Rabbit. “You were real to the Boy, the Fairy said, “because he loved you. Now you shall be real to everyone.”

    Last night as we rode Amtrak home, a young man sat down, and asked me, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” And for the next hour and a half he poured out his story of drug treatment, using moments earlier, feeling like a failure, and loneliness. We simply listened, and as he left gave him our card telling him to call any time. He looked at me and said: “You are so different than any one, no one ever listens let along invites them  to call back if they need to,  and you do not know me, you are different.” And we are different, we give thanks to God for being different and it is our prayer that all of us become different and listen to each other.

    We return reaffirming our ministry of listening, being present to each person, and of meeting the Christ in each person young, old, middle age, that we meet. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

(For your consideration: To what is Christ calling you? What is Christ asking you to give everything for?)



We live in a time of division, of tribalism, and for us of the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith’s we find unity in the One God.  This pendant contains the symbols of all three faiths:  the Cross, Crescent, and Star of David. It is the Inter-Faith Symbol that one can wear to demonstrate solidarity.

We offer this as a sign of solidarity. As we stand together against hate and discrimination.  It can be worn with pride. The cost is $100.00 which includes a chain.

To obtain this beautiful piece of jewelry please contact:

Zee Continental Jewelry 

1546 Polk Street

San Francisco, CA 94109




Saturday, October 5, 2019

6:30 p.m.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Twenty Fifth Anniversary Celebration of

Temenos Catholic Worker



As always we come to you begging. There are more people homeless, more people on the edge in need, and we are on the front lines. We provide food, clean needles, referrals, pastoral care and Sacramental ministry to 500 plus a month.  Our funds are down, so please pray, and reflect, and open your hearts and pocket books and give.

On our website: or pay

Through the Mail:

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164

All Checks must be made out to: Temenos Catholic Worker

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