I call them the confessions of Sr. Immolatia. They are the words of a vibrant, spirit-led past parishioner of the Church on the Street.
We are often rudely awakened to our insufficient response to the voice of need.
The brutality of life on the streets could not defeat this ‘I used to be famous’ woman
There are evenings when I am walking the streets that deep theological insights come abruptly to my mind. This was one such evening.
The screen faded to black and as the music drifted into the evening air the audience sat in silence. When the lights came up in the movie theatre, two women were standing in front of the screen and the audience rose in applause.
There was a day when we would sit by the phone anxiously waiting for it to ring with important news. Nowadays, the phone is often muted, and it is a text message that intrudes into our vigil. So it was that at 3 a.m. I received the simple text message: “Gordie has passed. May he rest in peace.”
The early evening was warm and the sun had brought out the convertibles with their roofs down and music blaring. I was walking down Jarvis Street and passing Allan Gardens.
“What are you doing in this bad part of the city?”
I looked around and saw a young man bent over and out of breath, his rollerblade wheels still spinning in the dark of the evening.
He had seen my clerical collar. The “bad part of the city” he referred to is a Toronto neighbourhood known as “the track,” where prostitution is open and drugs are barely concealed.