Expecting a day of many happy meetings around town. Catch me if you can!
This morning I opened the front door of San Lorenzo Friary just as Terry Burke was walking up to the gate. He is the senior minister at First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist. We met in the spring of 2009 at Ecclesia Ministries. He came to worship one Sunday at Common Cathedral, bringing members of his congregation who brought sandwiches and snacks for the community. He introduced himself to me after he heard me lead an intercessory prayer on behalf of undocumented immigrants, who, like the homeless Ecclesia serves, are excluded from the sacred canopy that covers "respectable" society. He was moved by my prayer and wanted to know more about me and what I was doing. A warm friendship was born on that soggy afternoon. Ever since, we have had many adventures in faith doing justice, especially with Interfaith Worker Justice. (Terry loves to boast that he got arrested because of me!) He knew several of the Capuchins through their work on the Massachusetts health care reform with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, but he had never been to the friary before. It was a privilege to have him over this morning for breakfast and a tour of the house.
This afternoon for lunch I will reunite with two more Unitarian Universalist friends in Cambridge, both pillars of the Boston New Sanctuary Movement. We used to meet all the time at the Au Bon Pain in Holyoke Center of Harvard Square. Perhaps we'll convene there for old times' sake!
Later in the day I will pay respects to the mother of a religious sister I know from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The memorial is at St. Katharine Drexel Parish Center in Roxbury. My sister friend, a native of Trinidad, has devoted her ministry to service of immigrants, especially farmworkers. She has been a beacon for many of the interfaith organizations dedicated to social and economic justice in Greater Boston, including Mass. Interfaith Worker Justice and the Boston New Sanctuary Movement. She has been most kind to me over the years. In all her comings and goings she has held her mother close to her heart. I have been moved by her affectionate care for her mother, who passed away last Friday at her home in Melrose, Mass. I feel like her mother accompanied her in spirit whenever we met. Now her mother accompanies us all from her place in eternity. May she smile upon us and pray for the success of our most virtuous efforts to live like Jesus. And may the God of peace and love be with my sister friend at this sorrowful hour and bring her consolation. It is doubly difficult to lose a loved one at this time of year. I can still remember the grief I felt twenty years ago, when my maternal grandfather died two days before Christmas.
From St. Katharine Drexel I will hurtle uptown to Chinatown to meet a friend for Vietnamese food, perhaps at Pho Pasteur. The seafood chowfoon there is excellent. Postscript from yesterday: I came to the Back Bay anticipating a great meal at Arirang House, the Korean-Japanese buffet, only to find that the commercial building where it was, was demolished! The Berklee College of Music has purchased the parcel and is redeveloping it into residence halls, dining halls, and retail space. I was so bummed out. I mourned this loss over some too-sticky sesame chicken from a Chinese take-out across the street. (My only consolation was that the McDonald's next door to Arirang was also uprooted.)
Anyway, after dinner I will adjourn to Limelight Stage and Studios in the Theater District for karaoke and camaraderie. The song selection is great, and the vibes are usually laid back here. The audience is always generous and supportive. The raised platform, concert lights, and projector screen make you the star of the stage. It's as good an ending to the week as I can imagine.
Now, off to morning prayer on the Orange Line and 12:05 p.m. Mass at the Paulist Center. Godspeed....