Peniel, Newsletter of Temenos Catholic Worker, November-December-2022


“Where Jacob walked with God and survived.. .”

Newsletter of Temenos Catholic

November/December, 2022

‘Gratitude and Advent Seasons’

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

P.O. Box 642656                          San Francisco, CA 94109

email:                           phone: 415-305-2124

snapchat: riodamien3

We Are Beggars! Please, Please Give Using an Envelope in the Newsletter PayPal, or!

Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

Sloughing Towards Bethlehem!

As I read Joan Didion’s essay, “Sloughing Towards Bethlehem”, I find myself thinking of Haight Street then, and Haight Street now.

The neighborhood of course has changed, the “hippie” culture is now a part of history, and it has been romanticized; Jerry Garcia’s apartment is now over an upscale apartment store; clean cut tourists with their cameras are everywhere.  Apartments are rented for thirty to forty times the price of that era.

But what remains are the street youth/adults who are on the street pan-handling, smoking pot, and struggling with their issues. Their needs are the same as that era, trying to find a place to belong, parents who abused them, rejection, and always being preyed upon by predators. Our society is filled with a sense of meaninglessness, godliness, and materialism, that dominated the Ms. Didion’s reflections.

The streets of San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angles, Chicago, and all our major cities—not just a California “thing”-are filled with the poorest of the poorest, homeless, drug-addicted, mentally ill, and all who do not make enough on minimum wage to have housing. In San Francisco, alone, we have twenty thousand-plus unhoused people. And people who are housed simply walk by, without giving a nod or a glance.

During these seasons of “Gratitude” and “Advent” let us join together in reading Hebrews 11: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” and with a child’s awe of the reading of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicle’s of Narna, in particular, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and envision the Reign of God, “Narnia”, in which we see our friends, and loved one’s in the Great Cloud of Witnesses, calling us forward in struggling for the healing of our communities.

Calling us to advocate with our leaders to turn their eyes to the streets, and pour out our taxes for food, housing mental health, physical health care, and treatment centers for all; calling each one of us to look at every corner of our streets and see the suffering of individuals in our midst, and provide food, and the presence of ourselves to each one.

I would like to invite each and every one of you to purchase (if you can not afford the book, I will gladly give you one as a Christmas gift) Advent in Narnia: Reflections for the Season, by Heidi Haverkamp, and meditate on each day of Advent.

In our childlikeness in the midst of our Narnia winter let us look for the green leaves, hear the birds singing, see the flowers blooming, the trees putting on fresh leaves, and know the winter is over and the “the White Witch” (evil, hunger, and all forms of degradation) is on the run, her sled is useless, and she must walk. Finally, her dwarf declares: “This is no thaw, this is spring. What are we to do? Your winter has been destroyed. I tell you! This is Aslan’s doing” (See chapter 11 in the book). On Christmas Day Christ is born!



All Saints and All Souls Days—November 1 and 2nd:

On November 1 and 2nd we will remember in thanksgiving our loved ones who have died and entered into the Great Cloud of Witnesses, who now surround us encouraging us on our present journey, with anticipation of our joining them.

At 5:00 p.m. PDT. November 2, “All Soul’s Day,  we will have a Zoom “Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving” so please join us, and send your email to or call 415-305-2124.

Gratitude Day, November 24, 2022:

On November 24, 2022, we will celebrate “Gratitude Day” by serving a hot meal of Vegan Turkey on the Haight and Polk Street, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Any one who would like to volunteer you are invited to join me at 4:00 p.m. Maxes 

at Opera Plaza for a Gratitude meal and join in serving our meal. Allow until

9:00 p.m. This invitation is for anyone who is home alone and would like to join us as well.

Christmas Eve:

Mobile Christmas Eve Eucharist at 5:00-9:00 p.m. Haight/Polk

Followed by gift-giving on the street!

Gifts of Sweat Shirts, Long Sleeve Shirts, and/or Jackets are needed!

Thank you! Thank you! To the Eight Grade Class of St. Apollonia Middle School in Napa for their sock drive!

Join Us For Our Advent Study Advent In Narnia: Reflections for the Season by Heidi Haverkamp

Beginning  First Sunday in Advent!

November 27, 2022, 2 p.m. PST, On Zoom! Send an email to Fr. River to Sign You UP!


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