Peniel–23 rd. Anniversary Issue

PENIEL-TEMENOS CATHOLIC WORKER–October, 2017–23rd. Anniversary

Journal of An Alien Street Priest

I have watched a TV series entitled “Salvation.”  It was about an asteroid headed for earth and the efforts of several people to build a missile to destroy it. Rather than a world coming together, we have a dark portrayal of selfishness and use of the project by our government to destroy a block of countries that are our enemies. All seems dark, all seems hopeless, but three people represent the light of salvation and there is hope.

Homelessness is rising, tents are in our alleys, college professors are sleeping in their cars, violence is rampant, nothing seems to change but grows worse.  And yet in these 23 years there is the hope of salvation that shines through. Salvation is offered in the small signs we experience, and do each day.

Salvation breaks through in the face of Shaggy, who comes to our door, always high and drunk at all hours of the day and night, asking for a pair of socks. Behind that facade is the lonely, needy person who wants a word of care; in the face of Ira, 19, who is struggling with being transgender and uses drugs to compensate for his pain. The light in his eyes brighten as we kneel down and give him some socks, food, and care; Salvation is present in Cindy, fifty, who has been homeless for thirty years. She has been raped, abused, has prostituted, uses drugs, and sits alone most of the time, but smiles a bright smile when we spend time with her.

Salvation breaks through in the volunteers and donors who have supported our ministry. Through their care and money for 23 years they have provided “a cup of cold water” to thousands. Each meal we serve, each hand we hold, each pair of socks we give shouts that Christ is present, and that salvation is at hand;  Salvation breaks through to me personally in the love and  care you have given me. Through your gifts, your words, your care, you have given me hope. I have been called a child, immature, and many worst names, and yet you have believed in our work, you have uplifted us, for you know that in our imperfections we offer a glimpse of salvation through you in the name of Christ.

Salvation is near! And, as in the coming years as Temenos passes one, salvation will continue to be near, in the proclamation of the Gospel, for salvation is a continuing process, and one that will eventually embrace the world, but for now salvation is near!

Francis De Sales said: “You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and, just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.”

We are still learning to love.  And in learning to love we are like the Velveteen Rabbit: “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.”

Salvation comes in loving, in giving ourselves away, for in loving we die, and we experience resurrection. And so we continue the journey, and as we journey together in the journey of salvation we give you our heartfelt thanks. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

World Vegetarian Festival

In Cooperation with the Christian Vegetarian Association

October 1, 2017–10:00 a.m;–6:00 p.m.

San Francisco County Fair Building

1199 9th Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94122

The first World Veg Festival in San Francisco happened in 1988 and has run annually ever since. It was initially launched to celebrate World Vegetarian Day, observed worldwide on October 1st.

WVF brings together vegetarians and vegans, as well as curious non-vegetarians and flexitarians, to celebrate World Veg Day, featuring plant-based nutrition experts, dynamic speakers, cooking demos, great veg products that the whole family can enjoy.

Temenos Catholic Worker and the Christian Vegetarian Association will be sponsoring a joint booth. Volunteers are Needed! Please contact Fr. River at or 415-305-2124 if you would like to volunteer. Get in free if you volunteer!



Planet First: Care Rests Upon Genuine Religion

Celebrate the One Seamless Thread of Life

One God: In many Faces

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Earl Warren Supreme Court Building

350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA

Symbolic Action is That of Being the Power of One: Bring one bag lunch, as a part of our celebration we will move on to the streets, and find one homeless person and engage with them and share the food with them. 

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We generally serve two hot meals a week, one on Polk and one on Haight. We served for many years at two needle exchange sites, but each of our schedules, and changes in the demographics of the population have necessitated we no longer do that.

So our meal schedule is usually in the early afternoon.  If you would like help, hang out with us, simply contact us, and we can let you know our schedule for the week.



As we enter the Fall of the year, our needs have been met, barely.  We have given away 50 plus thousand pairs of socks, our costs for food, tickets home, etc., have risen 50 percent.  I am always saying “no” more than I say “yes.”

The heart of what we do is our pastoral ministry.  It is sitting and listening as one young man talks of how he feels so low, because he is homeless, and every thing he tries fails; one talks of how the city continually kicks him out of his sleeping place, throwing away his belongs, and of his feelings of fear and mistrust; another talks of his sexual abuse; one young girl talks of her fears and her sexual abuse, and so on.

We walk with hundreds each month. With some we celebrate the Sacraments, but mostly we listen, and the bread of life is broken in the words spoken.

So we beg on our knees for your gifts, that they may be turned into the Word made flesh in the lives of our homeless young people.

Checks to:

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164





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