Archive | April, 2011

In Search of Libraries’ Clean, Well-Lighted Spaces

Homeless people sit outside the San Francisco Public Library. Lydia Gans photo

They call them “public libraries” for a reason. In an increasingly corporatized world, public space is growing scarcer. Shopping centers have collaborated to form “business improvement districts” where “outsiders” are monitored and curtailed, often by private security forces.

Also, laws such as the sit-lie ordinance, approved by San Francisco voters in November, place further limits on where homeless people may assemble peaceably.

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Abused

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

Marie was certain this would be the best holiday ever. After the two-year separation, she was back with her children and had found a job. The apartment was small and dark, but to Marie, it was filled with light.

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Poetry, April 2011

“Here We Are: Praising God and Serving One Another.” Art by Leon Kennedy

LENT 2011

(Spring Renewal)

by Maureen Hartmann

This year there have been
uprisings of the grassroots
against oppressive governments,
like Wisconsin, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia.
The protests are signs
of a growth in consciousness.
A maturation, like a small amount
of yeast in dough for a large loaf,
spreads throughout the Earth.
This year the grassroots implant,
even in many deaths,
seeds of hope and renewal.

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.