Los Angeles, Calif., Nov 22, 2017 / 14:21 pm
A Eucharistic procession is not the first thing people expect to see on the streets of Hollywood, California.
But last Saturday, that’s what happened, with hundreds of people taking part in an evening of prayer and encounter with the homeless.
Nathan Sheets, executive director of The Center, a group that works to fight isolation among the homeless, told CNA that the event provided “an opportunity for individuals from the community, and outside the community, to have a [long-lasting] encounter.”
“Seeing the common humanity in other individuals can only happen with these types of encounters, and I believe that from those types of experiences ... our imaginations for how we can help can be spurned to more than just on one night.”
The Center is one of the homeless advocacy groups that make up the “Beloved Movement,” the coalition that organized the Nov. 19 event, which took place on the first World Day of the Poor.
The event started with Sunday Vigil Mass at Blessed Sacrament parish, followed by a Eucharistic Procession through downtown Hollywood. About 800 attendees proceeded in song or silent prayer, encountering those they met on the streets, and then returned to the parish for adoration and testimonies.
Deacon Spencer Lewrence, another organizer for the event, said a woman named Diane shared her past experiences of addiction and prostitution along Hollywood Boulevard, but how she now returns with her kids to the same street to aid the homeless.
She also recited a poem called the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” he told CNA, including the line, “We all have wounds big or small, but joined with Christ we share them all.”