Tag Archives: St. Mary’s Center

A Reverence for Life in the Midst of Death

Participants at st. Mary’s memorial put candles around a painting entitled “Heart of All” by artist and community member Leon Kennedy. Mina Gaskell Photo

  by Molly Woodward very winter, when freezing temperatures and wet weather make surviving on the streets even harder, communities across the nation take time to remember the people who died homeless over the past year, and to recommit to the fight for one of the most basic of human rights — the right to […]

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St. Mary’s Center Honors the Lives of Those Living in Poverty

No one dreams as a child that they might become homeless, addicted, disabled, or jobless. It is critical that we change the way that we value people who may have less money and physical possessions by looking at the talents, strengths, and gifts that each soul has to bring to our world.

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How We Find Our Silenced Voices and Learn to Sing

This child who had been silenced went on to become a world-famous poet who won three Grammys and spoke six languages. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. She had an abounding love for everyone. She was asked by the United Nations to write a poem for the world.

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St. Mary’s Center — Community in Action

This special section features stories published in Street Spirit that report on the crucial work of St. Mary’s Center in providing shelter and life-supporting social services to low-income and homeless seniors in Oakland. These exciting stories describe St. Mary’s inspiring work in building a vibrant community and involving seniors in creating beautiful art and organizing […]

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The Spirit of St. Mary’s Center

A giant puppet of Gandhi symbolizes the spirit of nonviolence and justice at this Health and Justice Fair 2005 held at St. Mary's Center in Oakland.

by Terry Messman owntown Oakland has the highest percentage of seniors in poverty of any urban area in California. Many of those seniors are homeless. On any given night, elderly citizens make up 17 percent of Oakland’s homeless populace. St. Mary’s Center in downtown Oakland is providing life-saving shelter and life-enriching services, recovery programs and […]

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St. Mary’s Center — On the Move for Justice

Joseph Shaw (at left) talks with Carol Johnson, director of St. Mary's. Lydia Gans photo

by Maureen Hartmann A giant puppet of Martin Luther King is being created today by the senior clients of St. Mary’s Center. The puppet will hold the “UN Declaration of Human Rights” or a quote from King, “It’s time to end poverty.” It is being put together for the End Poverty Procession planned for October […]

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On Our Way Home
Photographers Document Life on the Streets

Homeless photographers create an eye-opening exhibit to document the dire conditions endured by people living on the streets of Oakland.

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Photographers Document Life on the Streets

“On Our Way Home” — Photo Documentary by Homeless Elders

Homeless and formerly homeless elders used disposable cameras to bring to public awareness the conditions facing people on the street. “On Our Way Home” celebrates the wisdom of elders as they offer a personal look at life on the street and show what we can do to help create change.

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The Visionary Folk Art of Leon Kennedy

Leon Kennedy loves to paint the faces of those who matter most to him. “I love to see a picture of the beauty of old faces, young faces, all colors. Everyone has their own beauty, everyone has character.”

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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.