Showing posts from June, 2015

Mr. Cellophane

Deacon Ven Garcia reflects on his week-long experience with Maryknoll on an immersion trip to the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.  Visit the Maryknoll Immersion Trip page to learn more about our domestic and international immersion trips!
Mr. Cellophane by Deacon Ven Garcia Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name Mr. Cellophane 'cause you can look right through me Walk right by me and never know I'm there.
This song played and replayed in my head throughout our Tenderloin mission immersion trip.Mr. Cellophane, the invisible, inconsequential man in the Broadway musical Chicago is everywhere and nowhere in the streets of San Francisco.He is panhandling on the sidewalks, sleeping in the public library and lounging on the grass at Civic Center Plaza.Most people look the other way, immune to their plight.But there is no ignoring Mr. Cellophane in his home turf, the thirty blocks shaped like a wedge triangle called the Tenderloin.He has stories to tell, scars to show, les…

Who is the Stranger? My Tenderloin Journey

Reflections on My Tenderloin Journey by JGong (6/12/15)
I began this journey to the Tenderloin because I received a quiet nudge from God (an email invitation) to seek how to serve the Poor. It turns out I received an invitation from God to dine with Him at the table, to enjoy a good meal or two and conversations about the last Golden State Warrior’s playoff game, get a rave restaurant review about a pizzeria in SOMA, and learn about the Okinawa coral diet.And an invitation from God to meet Tim, jobless the last two years because of illness and age 52, yet stoic and interested in my volunteer work in the dining room. And God brought Michael to the table too…
Michael was laid off from construction work six years ago. Yes, he is hooked up with EDD. He says,” I'd like to do line cooking, but you know I'm 56”.He shares this with a smile, without a hint of anger, frustration, or even resignation. It just is. He yearns to see his family in Tucson.On Sundays he goes to Mass- mostly at St.…

Losing Myself in Jamaica

Losing Myself in Jamaica by Norm E. May 2015
I did not know what to expect in Jamaica. I was apprehensive on how things would go. What concerned me was that I was not going to set my own agenda. I mentioned that to a friend and
she said, “So you think you’re setting your own agenda now?” She reminded me that God has always been in control and the sooner I realized this fact the better life would go. And she’s right; it is clear that ultimately we are leaving this earth 100% in God’s hands. It’s an illusion that we are in control prior to that time.

I met Christ in the marginalized and he ministered to me through them. I met Christ in those who have dedicated their lives in serving others. I saw joy in their faces; I also saw the burden in their eyes. That’s the paradox of service: hard, emotion rendering work, time not your own but it is through selflessness that true joy is experienced. Time not their own: It reminded me of the counsel that God is in control. I felt joy in my meager…