St. Boniface Church In San Francisco Lets Homeless People Sleep In Pews

“For I was a stranger and you invited me in…” :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/st-boniface-church-san-francisco_n_2592275.html?ir=Religion&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008

I suppose that’s a kindly gesture, but do they remove the Eucharist first?

This is one of the best things I ever heard of. Here is their main website: thegubbioproject.org/donate.html

The nonprofit known as the Gubbio Project partners with the Roman Catholic church to let the city’s homeless sleep on its pews during daylight hours, even during Mass, and provides a host of services to hundreds of those who are forced to leave when homeless shelters close in the morning, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

“Part of the craziness you run into on the streets with homeless people is drugs and alcohol related, but some is severe lack of sleep, which can cause psychosis,” Rev. Tommy King, a pastor at St. Boniface told the Chronicle. “This helps them in terms of mental health.”

Every weekday the program uses the sanctuary’s rear 76 pews between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. while providing access to the church’s amenities like bathrooms, blankets, clothing vouchers and haircuts,…

“This sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors - they are in essence part of the community, not to be kicked out when those with homes come in to worship,” the organization describes on its website.

Isn’t this a little wrong for people sleeping in the church?

For the past 7 years my inner-city parish has sponsored a Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. (BTW, a densely-populated, relatively poor urban area is an EXCELLENT place for such a Chapel; prayers are much needed, & I promise, graces will spill out into the rest of the neighborhood.) We have had to deal with the problem of homeless people making themselves a bit too “comfy,” if you will, in our Chapel. As long as they maintain a respectful silence and sit upright, they are welcome to join us. Sleeping in the pews is another matter. Our parish council was able to come to an agreement on the issue by thinking of it this way: the sole purpose of PEA is to worship Our Blessed Lord. That’s what draws those who seek to grow closer to the Lord to the chapel in the first place. We would be remiss if we allowed anything to take place there that might hinder people from visiting the Chapel to pray. So those who would attempt to misuse the Chapel for any other activity are asked to leave, or we ask law enforcement to come & escort them to a nearby shelter. The purpose of a shelter IS to provide respite for those who have nowhere else to go.

Scandalous??? Sheltering the homeless is a Corporal Work of Mercy. The church is mostly empty all day, do you think God minds if some of His own are allowed to find a place of rest and shelter in it? The Church has a preferential option for the poor, and this is a pretty good example of how that works.

You know, historically, churches have been used as sanctuaries for people for centuries. And often these were criminals, not just people seeking freedom from religious persecution. There is a long history of people living in churches. These people, however, are not criminals, they are the poor whom Jesus loves with a passion.

How can anyone have a problem with this, after all, did not Jesus said when you take care of the poor you take care of Him, put yourself in there shows for a minute,

But shouldn’t they take The Most Holy Eucharist out of the tabernacle before they let them sleep though?

Perhaps those sleeping in the pews could benefit from the True Presence in their midst, whether they recognize it or not. I have a hard time believing God takes offense at this.

You are confusing “sheltering the homeless” with “giving the Holy Sacrament it’s proper dignity.”

I have nothing against sheltering the homeless. In fact, I am and always have been an advocate of further measures to shelter the homeless. However, in a Church, the house of God, we are called to be attentive and reverent. Permitting a set of homeless people who may or may not have any devotion, reverence, or attentiveness at all to be in the Church gives them no benefit, because they are not truly there to adore God. Permitting them to SLEEP there is not only without benefit, but it is very disrespectful to Our Lord who is present there.

This is not an issue of following the corporal works of mercy. This is an issue of giving the Blessed Sacrament its proper dignity.

“Part of the craziness you run into on the streets with homeless people is drugs and alcohol related, but some is severe lack of sleep, which can cause psychosis,” Rev. Tommy King, a pastor at St. Boniface told the Chronicle. “This helps them in terms of mental health.”

Every weekday the program uses the sanctuary’s rear 76 pews between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. while providing access to the church’s amenities like bathrooms, blankets, clothing vouchers and haircuts,…

“Homeless people, in addition to needing housing, have primary needs of calm, safety, beauty, and a sense of belonging. We are providing these things,” Slattery told HuffPost, “These are our daily successes.”

It sounds loving to me. A safe place to sleep. I can not imagine our Lord would feel otherwise that the parish shares its extra seats with those in need of safety and sleep.

I can see that some would feel Our Lord is being disrespected during Holy Mass. I think these people do not come to disrespect Our Lord. They may offer a pray of thanksgiving to Him that some of us may forget to do. Even if they don’t think anything about our Lord, the parish is serving them in the Works of Mercy.

I guess I don’t see this as any disrespect towards Christ or the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus welcomed all especially the poor. I can’t imagine him not being happy in their presence. While on earth he ate with tax collectors and sinners who I am sure didn’t always treat him as the king of kings.

But these people are sleeping not adoring?

No more scandalous than Jesus healing people on the Sabbath.:slight_smile:

:thumbsup:

How do you know? No one knows what’s in their hearts. Maybe they’re praying, or having a conversation with God, or meditating while the Holy Spirit works in them. I applaud that church for taking them in and doing exactly what Christ said. :thumbsup:

You are taking things out of context, and you know it. Please don’t obfuscate the conversation by doing that.

A person who is SLEEPING in the Church in the middle of mass is really insulting the solemn liturgy, by showing it so little respect. Perhaps they could benefit, but rather I think they would just be distracting to the people in mass.

What is the proper dignity to give Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament?

What did you read that showed those who are welcomed into the parish are offering Our Lord less dignity?

Most people who come to worship at Mass or simply to sit in front of Jesus in the tabernacle, then go home at the end of the day to sleep in a bed.

Why would Our Lord be upset that someone who has no place to sleep might find refuge in His Home even during Mass? Sleeping is not less dignified.

Think of a totally sleepless night and how you longed for sleep. Imagine that night after night. For those sleeping on the street, the “sleep” of night may not be restful as they are keeping alert even as they doze. To have a place to allow themselves to fall into a deep sleep benefits their body, mind, and soul.

Why would Our Lord ask them to provide Him the same alertness as someone who has been given the gift of sleep each night?

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