By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC
St. Vincent De Paul, my parish, steeped in the Vincentian charism of seeking and finding the neediest of society, ministers in a variety of ways to people who come to us for social services.
Many of the folks who walk through our doors are homeless, the most unnoticed and most easily forgotten and ignored people in our society. But they are people with names, stories, families, and a longing for a place to belong. Often ravaged by mental illness, alcoholism, and drug addiction, “the homeless” are much more than a shadowy category. They are our brothers and sisters, our guests.
Our service at St. Vincent isn’t glamorous or romantic. It’s often gritty and frustrating. But faith keeps us going. Our parishioners and volunteers inspire and encourage me with their compassion, generosity, and concern. We believe that we reach out the hands that receive the Body of Christ and use them to serve the Body of Christ.
Consider the homeless inside yourself. What is it that you seek? What parts of you are ignored, anonymous, and unidentified? Talk to that part of your inner self. Sometimes what the homeless want most is for someone to listen to them.
You might even decide to hold a conversation with someone on the fringes of your society. This might indeed be a touchy topic.
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