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Religious host picnic in park for homeless

September 17, 2015
Catholic San Francisco

Religious men and women of the archdiocese hosted a picnic for the homeless Sept. 12 in Golden Gate Park. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and sisters, brothers and priests interacted with all who passed through the Panhandle during the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. hospitality, some having extended conversations. The event was in response to Pope Francis’ call to women and men religious to “Wake Up the World” during this Year of Consecrated Life and to undertake a project to focus on the poor and marginalized in San Francisco.

Presentation Sister Rosina Conrotto, director of the archdiocesan Office of Consecrated Life, started spreading the word on Thursday before the Saturday event by delivering flyers to shelters and going to the Civic Center area about 6:30 Saturday morning.

The religious made more than 700 sandwiches with drinks and snacks and also provided socks. A local pet store donated canned and dried dog food.

About 25 religious men and women participated from communities including the Order of St. Francis, Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady of Peace, Capuchins and the Missionaries of Charity. Jesuit Father Joseph Spieler from St. Ignatius Parish also attended.

All the religious interacted with everyone who passed through the area in the Panhandle, some engaging in long conversations.

Presentation Sister Sylvia Llerena spent a very long time with a woman huddled under a blanket. After some time she was joined by Sister Eva Camberos, MFP.

Sister Dee Myers, BVM, spent some time walking alongside a woman who used a wheelchair to balance her very labored walking.

Capuchin Brother Peter Ciolino, pictured with brother Capuchins from the St. Conrad Friary in Berkeley, said each of the orders present at the picnic brought their own charism.

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