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

Look at the picture that was posted on the first page. There does not look like a lot of praying to me but sleeping.

Have you ever been homeless? I have. Let me tell you about the fear you live with day in and day out because you don’t know where you will be sleeping that night, if you will be safe, or where your next meal will come from. I can’t blame those people for sleeping, even during Mass. It must be a HUGE weight off their minds to know that they can sleep in a peaceful and safe environment. All the better that they are surrounded by the Holy Spirit and are exposed to the liturgy and Eucharist. My heart goes out to them and I pray that they one day find a stable life like I did.

I don’t know about you but I pray with my eyes closed…

I heard an interview with one of the people involved in this project. While it is a work of mercy to care for the homeless, I was quite unnerved by one comment the woman made.

To paraphrase, she said that it was good for the people to stay while Mass was being offered because the parishioners could see that the homeless were part of their community (certainly a good thing) and the homeless could see that they were just as important as what was happening at the altar. :eek:

That comment has bothered me for months.

The audio is here and that comment is around 25 minutes in.

I don’t see how I’m taking things out of context. Jesus healed people on the Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest, and was accused of doing work by the Jewish authorities. He rebuked them. I cannot see Jesus being angry about a homeless person being let into his house for a chance to sleep. This seems like a great way to show the love of Christ to others.

and laying down in church? I do not care about helping people but this looks like an abuse of the church building to me

Some of us are talking about reverence to The Most Holy Eucharist and not about helping people. I’m ok with helping people and showing Gods love but this doesn’t seem right with the Eucharist present in the Tabernacle

If they know there’s bread in the tabernacle that’s probably gonna eat it…their hungry…that would be sacrilege (sin) and canon law says non-catholics can’t receive the Eucharist except in the specified situations.

This was my thought exactly. To show non-believers that we mean what we say about loving the poor will do more to convert people then pretty much anything else. The non-believers that I know complain about how Christians don’t act like Christians. We need way more of this.

Helping the poor directly is a way to show reverence to the Eucharist.

Its not bread it the Body of our Lord.

And doing His work in His Presence is irreverent?

If they want to use the building fine just remove the Eucharist first. God is inside the tabernacle and sleeping in the church in front of him is not very respectful to Our Lord

I did not listen to the audio. However, you mentioned this was the words of someone involved with the project. This person has a misunderstanding of theology. Lots of people have a misunderstanding of theology - even sometimes people teaching at a parish. Do not let this woman’s poor theology bother you. It is unfortunate that its included in the interview.

Why do you think the priest and bishop allow these people to sleep in the church with Our Lord present in the tabernacle and during Holy Mass?

The proper dignity for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is either adoration, thanksgiving, silent prayer, or just sitting there with your eyes on the tabernacle in contemplation. So long as your intention to be there is to be in worship of God in some way, it is respectful.

I read that people were sleeping in the Church. You read it too. What did you miss?

Sleeping, actually, is undignified. If you were sleeping in bed, and some friends who do not visit your house often just enter your house and wake you up, do you feel perfectly dignified in your bedraggled state, or do hurry to get dressed and washed up?

Just as it would be rude to take a nap sitting in your seat at a gala dinner, so it is rude and disrespectful to sleep before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

That’s irrelevant.

Because he’s God, and deserves infinitely respectful treatment.

I am not saying everyone who enters the Church should be in a high state of alert attention. I am saying they should show more respect than to go completely to sleep.

Again, bringing things out of context. Showing reverence to God in the Church and helping the poor are two different things in two different places.

I don’t know. Ignorance for the true dignity of the sacrament is my guess, but of course I do not live there so I cannot say.

Corporeal works of mercy are wonderful. But this is not the way to perform them. Surely the parish has another room or building that is not where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass takes place, a more appropriate place for people to sleep.


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