Sunday, November 19, 2006

Called?

I've been praying for some time about whether I am called to the diaconate. I've thought it might be the case, and my wife has suspected as well. During our priest's homily today, something he said gave me a sudden sense that I am being called. He was talking about Dr. Kübler-Ross's work with terminally ill people. She mentioned that these people facing the ends of their lives and looking back at what they had done with their time all seemed to focus on two elements: love and service to others. Something about his words brought me certitude about what I should be doing with my life. So I spoke to him after Mass, and he is going to pass my name along to the deacon who is beginning the next formation session soon.

So please pray for me and for my family.

Another wonderful thing happened at Mass today. Father announced that our church would be hosting the Sanctuary project next week. Santuary is an effort among the interfaith community in Boise to provide homeless families with shelter during the cold season. Two years ago, the city turned over control of the largest homeless shelter in the city to a private organization that also runs a rescue mission. While that organization does some great work, they made a decision that many feel wasn't wise. They decide to make the shelter for men only. Doing so makes for a smoother operation, and apparently they have fewer incidents with the police when families and single men are separate. This put a lot of people in a bad situation.

Last year, Sanctuary was started by a number of area churches, temples, and religious organizations. Originally they proposed a tent city, but the weather was simply too harsh, and the city seemed to be quite against it. Instead, the various local churches opened their doors for a week at a time to provide a place for these homeless people to sleep. St. John's Cathedral wasn't able to accommodate Sanctuary last year. However, this year, we got involved right up front.

Father had to make a tough decision, one that angered some parents of the children who attend the parish school. However, he announced today that we would be hosting Sanctuary starting tomorrow evening. He said that this was, for him, the only option available to his conscience, and he hoped that we would come to support his decision. I don't usually approve of applause at Mass, but I was extraordinarily touched when he finished and the entire congregation burst into applause. I feel blessed to worship with such a group.

So please pray for our parish as well!

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