Archive for August, 2019

Come Eat With Me By Rob Douglas–Book Review

August 12, 2019

Come Eat With Me!

By Rob Douglas

Reverend Rob Douglas is an Australian minister of a conservative denomination and in Come Eat With Me takes through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation writing stories with the theme of hospitality at their center.

Douglas presents the theology of the Bible centered around hospitality, and shows us God’s hospitality working with humanity.  Our meals are a metaphor for relationship, and God’s purpose is to invite us to a meal with our Creator. He highlights the benefits and the challenges but ultimately with the theme that in the end we sit down as a meal with God.

The theme that Douglas drives home is that God has offered us hospitality from the first moment of creation, and through the ages has continued, and that hospitality is both physical and spiritual nourishment. Those who follow Jesus are called to provide physical and spiritual nourishment to every human being regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or political-economic station in life.

Evangelism is bringing us all together under the banner of the One God, of many faces, providing for the spiritual and physical needs of all.

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

Breaking and Entering

August 11, 2019

Breaking and Entering

Wisdom 18:6-9; Hebrews 11:2, 18-19; Luke 12:32-48

Luke 12:32–48

32 r“Fear not, little sflock, for tit is your Father’s good pleasure to give you uthe kingdom. 33 vSell your possessions, and wgive to the needy. xProvide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with ya treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 zFor where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

You Must Be Ready

35 a“Stay dressed for action6 and bkeep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are cwaiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and dknocks. 37 eBlessed are those servants7 whom the master finds eawake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, fhe will dress himself for service and ghave them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 hBut know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour ithe thief was coming, he8 would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be jready, for kthe Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

41 Peter said, “Lord, lare you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is mthe faithful and mwise nmanager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 oBlessed is that servant9 whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, phe will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master qis delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and rget drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come son a day when he does not expect him and sat an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 tAnd that servant who uknew his master’s will but vdid not get ready uor act according to his will, will receive a wsevere beating. 48 xBut the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, ywill receive a light beating. zEver

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus compares himself to a thief in this parable because thieves rely on the element of surprise. They break in when we least expect it, and they do not always look like thieves. That well dressed woman  we walk by on the Bart might be a pick pocket. Successful thieves are not deterred by the barricades we install either–locked doors, security locks, cameras and alarm systems.  Thieves know how to work around them. or better yet disarm them.

How does this apply to Jesus: Two thousand years ago he broke into our world in a surprising way: as a simple carpenter, turned wandering, preacher, walking the dusty roads of a backwater  place called Galilee. He came not employing force or power, but simply service and forgiveness.

Today Jesus remains the master of disguises: he breaks in using the the disguise of a baby, of an undocumented immigrant, of a street kid, a homeless older person, he enters into our lives in each person we see on the street.

“Jesus creates a home with all the neighbors whom we exclude, those we awkwardly walk around and look down upon. We are one big family. We belong not because of our ability, agility, or pedigree but because of our humanity, our vulnerability, our need.”

-Br. Luke Ditewig

And how do we do that? How do we get in touch with that sense of vulnerability to let our defenses down? Fr. Henri Nouwen describes the way in which we let Jesus into our lives to steal our hearts–and if we let him our very identity.
“Solitude molds self-righteous people into gentle, caring, forgiving persons who are so deeply convinced of their own great sinfulness and so fully aware of God’s even greater mercy that their life itself becomes ministry. In such a ministry there is hardly any difference left between doing and being. When we are filled with God’s merciful presence, we can do nothing other than minister because our whole being witnesses to the light that has come into the darkness.”

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Temenos Catholic Worker is in need of money for socks, and for food. Our finances are very low this summer. So we invite you to be a thief in the night and give and help those who have so little. Thank you!

Shadow on the Rock

August 7, 2019

Shadow of the Rock

Matthew 15:21-28


by Daniel Berrigan, SJ

“At Hiroshima there’s a museum 

and outside that museum there’s a rock, 

and on that rock there’s a shadow. 

That shadow is all that remains 

of the human being who stood there on August 6, 1945 

when the nuclear age began. 

In the most real sense of the word, 

that is the choice before us. 

We shall either end war and the nuclear arms race now in this generation,

or we will become Shadows On the Rock.”

August 6 is the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. It is a day of infamy in that innocent people were destroyed in the name of ending a war–not soldiers, but innocent civilians; it is a day that ignited the Atomic Age, and hurled us into being the most powerful nation on earth.

The shadow of that day hangs over us in our divisiveness by ethnic, political, and social-economical labels.

“When we label others, we stop seeing them as they are. We see them only as we are determined to see them, as we have decided that they must be. It’s important, then, to ask ourselves: Can I set aside my labels and take a fresh look?” Brother David Vryhof

A practice we have found useful is to sit in silence, to sit still, and to let our inner selves listen, and in so doing we will see that we are all the same–we all have the same needs, and expressed in the most awful ways, and that if we meet each other half way, we can find agreement, if we meet people on the level of mercy, rather than vengeance, we can find peace. Henri Nouwen wrote:

“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures. The careful balance between silence and words, withdrawal and involvement, distance and closeness, solitude and community forms the basis of the Christian life and should, therefore, be the subject of our most personal attention.”

We have a choice: to become shadows on the rock, to no longer exist, to destroy ourselves in so many ways, or we can shine brightly as beacons of love, kindness, inclusiveness, and mercy.

“Lord Jesus, it was at night that you taught Nicodemus the mystery of our rebirth in water and the Spirit. As we keep vigil this night to hear your Word, bring to birth in us the new self which is your own creation, and we will come to the light and live by the truth, today and for ever. Amen. (Benedictine Daily Prayer) Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

River of Fire

August 5, 2019

River of Fire—New Book By Sr. Helen Prejean—Book Signings—Come Hear A Living Icon!


Events from Aug 5th

New Orleans, LA – River of Fire book launch

Sat Aug 10th 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Catholic Book Store New Orleans Hosts Sr. Helen Prejean at St. Rita’s School Auditorium

Miami, FL – River of Fire book event

Thu Aug 15th

Time TBA FORMAT: Sister Helen Prejean in conversation with Pastor Laurie Hafner, Q&A, booksigning Books available for purchase

St Louis, MO – River of Fire book event

Fri Aug 16th

Time: TBA Books available for purchase. Sister Helen Prejean in conversation, Q&A, book signing

Atlanta, GA River of Fire Book Event

Sat Aug 24th 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Corde Madara-Book Passage-51 Tamal Vista Blvd.  – River of Fire book event

Thu Sep 5th 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Sister Helen Prejean in conversation, Q&A, book signing

Danville, CA – Danville Congregational Church 989 Raon Valley Blvd River of Fire book event

Fri Sep 6th 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Sister Helen Prejean in conversation, Q&A, booksigning

Pasadena, CA –All Saints Episcopal Church- River of Fire book event

Sat Sep 7th 5:00pm – 6:00pm

FORMAT: Sister Helen Prejean in conversation with Moderator, Q&A, booksigning

Seattle, WA – River of Fire book event

Mon Sep 9th 7:00pm – 8:30pm

FORMAT: Sister Helen Prejean in conversation with Dean Mark Markuly Q&A, booksigning (to be confirmed)

Ann Arbor, MI – River of Fire book event

Wed Sep 11th 7:00pm – 8:30pm

FORMAT: In conversation, Q&A, book signing Bookseller: Literati Bookstore

Washington, DC – Georgetown University

Mon Sep 16th

Hudson, OH – River of Fire event

Thu Sep 19th

Boulder, CO River of Fire Event

Fri Sep 20th

Boulder, CO River of Fire Event

Tue Sep 24th

Denver, CO – River of Fire event

Wed Sep 25th

Denver, CO – ACLU event

Thu Sep 26th

Washington, DC – Catholic Mobilizing Network anniversary

Thu Oct 10th

Columbus, OH – Ohio Journey of Hope

Fri Oct 11th

Ohio Journey of Hope … From Violence to Healing

Sioux Falls, SD – Prison Congregations of America conference

Thu Oct 17th

Chicago, IL – Opera Pre-Performance Chicago

Wed Oct 30th – Fri Nov 1st

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Sat Nov 2nd – Sun 3rd

Performance of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking

River Forest, IL – Dominican University

Mon Nov 4th

Kansas City, MO – Rockhurst University (evening) & Notre Dame de Sion HS (afternoon)

Wed Nov 6th

Fairfield, CT – Sacred Heart University

Thu Nov 7th

Archdiocese of Indianapolis Corrections Ministry

Sat Nov 16th 9:00am – 10:00am

No More Events

Peniel–August Newsletter of Temenos Catholic Worker

August 3, 2019

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