Hanging on the Haight!

nging on the Haight!

    This week our daily readings will be from the book of Luke, and as I walked down the Haight yesterday evening his stories of the Prodigal Son, and many others, emphasizing the care for the homeless, and the disadvantage became a living reality.
    Come with me on a brief journey of the Haight, the Haight of the streets.     We first encounter two guys panhandling, and in chatting they were sharing of heading to Florida for the winter, and now they simply needed something to eat, had not eaten all day, so we gave them a couple of sandwiches, water, socks, and some underwear we happen to be carrying; Next, we encounter, Sophia(not her real name) on the side of Haight and Clay, with a couple of male friends. Sophia is skinny as a rail, her face full of wrinkles, aged before her time, being on the street twenty years plus. She wanted socks, candy, clean needles, and some of my time to talk.
    We progressed further down the street, talking to one after another, until we came to Jamie (not his real name) in our photo, on the corner of Haight and Masonic. He had all of his belongings scattered around, sitting silently making necklaces and bracelets. The material is colored rocks he found in the Sierra Mountains, and aluminum wire. We talked and I gave him $20.00 to make a necklace for a gift, food, socks, and we sat for an hour talking as he made the necklace.
    The one thing learned in these years is to care, one must offer one’s own vulnerable self to others, as a source of healing.    Only when we live in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are homeless, and all people and speak out of common experiences can we help others to discover the freedom of our humanity, through or common provision of each one’s needs.
    Father Henri Nouwen sums up the story of Luke, and of the Gospel, and our call:
“The poor we see every day, the stories about deportation, torture, and murder we hear every day, and the undernourished children we touch every day, reveal to us the suffering Christ has hidden within us. When we allow this image of the suffering Christ within us to grow to its full maturity, then ministry to the poor and oppressed becomes a real possibility; because then we can indeed hear, see, and touch him within us as well as among us. . . . Once we have seen the suffering Christ within us, we will see him wherever we see people in pain. Once we have seen the suffering Christ among us, we will recognize him in our innermost self. Thus we come to experience that the first commandment, to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, resembles indeed the second: “You must love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39–40).”


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

Servant Bishop of the Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.
P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



Snapchat: riodamien2

A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)

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