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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

September 29, 2023: Homeboys at St. Agnes in San Francisco

September 29, 2023: Homeboys at St. Agnes in San Francisco

“Divine love is incessantly restless until it turns all woundedness into health, all deformity into beauty and all embarrassment into laughter.”

(please read the announcement at the end of this reflection )

Last night Linda Wildman, Dan Vrooman my sister Monica and I attended an inspiring talk given by Greg Boyle and the newly married David and Maya Reyes who spoke about their lives and their love of the environment of radical kinship and love they have all found at Homeboys.

You can watch the whole event on YouTube with this link. (And to tell the truth it's even better than being at the event as the sound is much better on the video)

The parishioners at St. Agnes welcomed us with open arms, chocolates and bottled water. They were so thankful that we had come all the way from Santa Rosa on this very busy night on Masonic Avenue in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park. The parish is celebrating its 125th Anniversary and is a large and traditional Catholic Church. Vaulted ceilings, High Altar and beautiful stained glass. Bright banners and terrible acoustics. Hard pews - really hardanf kneelers made in the last century. Who needs to suffer in Purgatory when those pews and kneelers will do the trick?

The choir was small but mighty. Their voices echoed through the long hall bouncing off the concrete walls and domed ceiling. They led us through four songs to begin the discussion. My favorite was a spirited

"Down by the Riverside"

I'm gonna lay down my burden, down by the riverside

Down by the riverside, down by the riverside

I'm gonna lay down my burden, down by the riverside

I'm gonna study war no more

I ain't a gonna study war no more, I ain't a gonna study war no more

I ain't a gonna study war no more, I ain't a gonna study war no more

I ain't a gonna study war no more, I ain't a gonna study war no more

“Our image of who God is and what’s on God’s mind is more tiny than it is troubled. It trips more on our puny sense of God than over conflicting creedal statements or theological considerations.” - Greg Boyle

“We seek to create loving communities of kinship precisely to counteract mounting lovelessness, racism, and the cultural disparagement that keeps us apart.”

The artwork in the church is beautiful and heartfelt

“This longing of God’s to give us peace and assurance and a sense of well-being only awaits our willingness to cooperate with God’s limitless magnanimity.”

- Greg Boyle


Let us make our reflections

a part of the Synod in Rome

By completing this form, each of us can have our reflections included

in the Synod process in Rome.

John Wijngaards of the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research explained that the Wijngaards Institute is — in the context of the Synodal Process — conducting a survey on the views of Catholics on 'Seven Pillars of Church Reform.' The survey includes such questions as:

Do you believe that women should be ordained? That pastoral councils should be more than just consultative? That theologians should enjoy freedom of research and expression? That, in case of need, any member of the community should be able to preside at the Eucharist? And so on.

If you'd like to have your reflections included in the Synod process, record your views by clicking on this link: After filling in the form, the latest findings of the survey will be printed on your screen. It is an indication of what lives among the faithful as their "sense of faith." A final overview will be delivered to the Synodal Office in Rome. After responding to the survey yourself, we invite you to share this survey with your friends and contacts - Christians and non-Christians, Catholics and former-Catholics - to take part in this project.

Let's join together in the prayer service

to be held in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 30

An Ecumenical Prayer Vigil will take place on Saturday, 30 September 2023 in St. Peter's Square in Rome. Pope Francis and representatives of different Christian Churches will attend the vigil. The vigil is intended to unite people in praise, silence, and listening to the Word. It is called “Together - Gathering of the People of God” during which the Catholic Church will entrust the work of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops together with the people. It would be good if we all joined together to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

To participate together in this gathering,

click here: Password is spirit.

The official two-hour vigil will be from 5 to 7 pm Rome time. The prayer vigil will be livestreamed through Vatican Media and other networks. Pope Francis has invited brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to participate in this “Gathering of the People of God.

Here is our corresponding time for this gathering:

San Francisco (USA – California) Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 at 8:00:00 am PST

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