November Newsletter Temenos Catholic Worker, Day of Dead


Newsletter of Temenos Catholic Worker

November 2021

All Saints and Day of Dead Remembrance

Celebrating the Lives of Homeless Youth and Adults on Polk and Haight Street


Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

Wisdom 3:1-9

“3 The souls of those who do what is right are in God’s hand. They won’t feel the pain of torment. To those who don’t know any better, it seems as if they have died. Their departure from this life was considered their misfortune. Their leaving us seemed to be their destruction, but in reality they are at peace. It may look to others as if they have been punished, but they have the hope of living forever. They were disciplined a little, but they will be rewarded with abundant good things, because God tested them and found that they deserve to be with him. He tested them like gold in the furnace; he accepted them like an entirely burned offering. Then, when the time comes for judgment, the godly will burst forth and run about like fiery sparks among dry straw. The godly will judge nations and hold power over peoples, even as the Lord will rule over them forever. Those who trust in the Lord will know the truth. Those who are faithful will always be with him in love. Favor and mercy belong to the holy ones. God watches over God’s chosen ones.”


    Growing up I remember Halloween Parties at church, the costumes I wore, and trick a treating all around town bringing home a lot of candy.

    In the churches I served, we had a Halloween Party, with all sorts of games and refreshments; a number of years ago in Sebastpal my friend Sam and I walked around town, tricker dressed in costumes. Halloween was always fun.

    Ghosts more seriously are our way of dealing with the unknown, and away in which we see them as alive. They exist in a place of mystery for us. And what else exists in all that mystery? Why have we always imagined monsters, angels, and humans, and animals with supernatural powers?     Halloween may not provide any real information about such mysteries, but it tells us a lot about ourselves.

We sense that some connections exist, even past death. There have been several recent deaths on the Haight and the guys have a story about their connection to their friends.

    As a Christian, I share this is not mysterious because we believe in the communion of saints. We believe the soul is eternal and is ultimately in God’s care. We believe they are still present with us, though not in body. All of us–those alive and those dead–are held in the bonds of grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. The communion of saints includes all my friends,  all the kids I have known love, and have died.

      We take evil seriously. As Christians, we believe that there is intelligent evil in the universe, and it seeks to seek to harm all of creation. In each death of violence on the Haight and Polk, I see the worst of evil. I believe all of our horror stories point to our desire to see that evil is conquered and its power eliminated. We want to live, evil wants us to die. We want to forgive and live in harmony, and evil wants war and strife and vengeance. In away our Halloween costumes and cartoons are forms of mocking evil. We believe that Jesus Christ has power over all other power and that the last word will be love. Our awareness of death is a sign of the awareness of life.

We suspect that locations carry something of the people and activities that have existed in themThere is a reason certain places are called holy. Throughout history we have recognized places that invite Divine Presence–and others fight it. We also recognize that where violence and great wrong have been done these places do not feel free and light and hopeful.

    I know of places on Polk, and Haight Street, where people have been murdered, beaten up. There are places where I have been beaten and stabbed.

    We know there are ways to clear the spaces in which we live and work. We bless our homes, we pray over places that need healing.

    On Tuesday, November 2, at noon we will gather on the edge of Golden Gate Park where several stabbings and three shootings have occurred this year, and people have died, and bless the area and cast holy water all around. We display symbols of hope and compassion and share stories of our friends.

    On November 2, I encourage you to allow Halloween to spark some meditation on the communion of saints, the realities of evil and grace, and the atmosphere you create right where you live. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

A Service of Remembering Those Who Have Died in the Year 2021

Noon, Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Golden Gate Park, at Stanyan and Haight

Come, Name, and Remember Your Friends and Loved Ones!


  Death Club

Death is a topic we do not talk about, we hide from it, and in talking about death, letting it become our friend we can live our lives more fully.

I would like to host a Zoom coffee hour reflecting on death. If you are interested please email me at

——————————-Fr. River Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.Servant Bishop of the Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.P.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164http://www.temenos.org415-305-2124Snap chat: riodamien2

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