Loading
“Pops” celebrates 15 years of ministry to street kids
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- On Dec. 8, 1988, Fr. Emmett Johns and a few volunteers parked a second-hand van in the middle of downtown Montreal and started serving hot dogs to street kids. This year, the ministry celebrates its 15th anniversary and, given the growth of his ministry, there’s a lot to celebrate.

Fr. Emmett Johns, known to Montreal’s street kids simply as “Pops”, founded Le Bon Dieu Dans La Rue (The Good Lord on the Street) after suffering a depression in his 36th year as a priest. Unable to return to parish ministry, he set out to discern where God was calling him. He heard about a project for street kids in Toronto and thought that it was something he could do in Montreal as well.

It wasn’t long before the priest had everything he needed to set up his ministry. “Everything just fell into place,” he said.

On the night of Dec. 8, 1988, Fr. Johns set out on Montreal’s streets with a used van, offering hot dogs, compassion and friendship.

It wasn’t just coincidence that Fr. Johns set out on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. “Mary and I are good friends,” he told the Catholic Times (Montreal). “I wanted to start on the good side,” he added with a laugh.

“I was scared at first,” admitted the 75-year-old priest. “I didn’t know what to expect. But the Lord has been good to me.”

The street ministry grew incredibly over the last 15 years. In addition to the van that offers food and friendship to countless youth, there is also a 20-bed emergency shelter; a day centre and a school, called Ecole du Bon Dieu, which currently offers the courses required for a high school diploma to 56 street kids. Some of the kids have even gone onto college, said Fr. Johns.

“We started without a nickel, and now we have an annual budget of $2.5 million and a healthy endowment fund. That didn’t happen because of my great management skills,” he told the Catholic Times (Montreal). “It happened because God stood by a deal that we made years ago.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
31

Liturgical Calendar

October 31, 2014

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Gospel
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Phil 1: 1-11
Gospel:: Lk 14: 1-6

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Homily
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14