Mini-interviews with people inside
St. Boniface Church during the week.
Q: How long have you been coming to this location?
-"I've never been here before"
-"2.5 decades, on and off"
-"Since my baptism in 1970"
Q: Why do you come here?
-"Because I need to rest. It makes me healthy and people look after me."
-"I believe in God and what they do here. I love the parish and the friars."
-"Because the government ripped me off"
-"For peace and quiet"
-"To pray, to sleep, to clean the pews"
-"To do God's will"
-"Somebody should come watch over other people's children"
Q: What do you do while you are here?
-"I work and interact with people"
-"I sleep until closing. Sometimes I request things. I pray here. I go to mass."
-"I used to just pray but now I do a few other tasks."
-"Come in and wait for lunch"
-"I stand and watch and pray"
Q:What is one interesting thing about you?
-"God gave me a good gift of singing"
-"I'm 84 years old"
-"I love helping people"
-"I don't like cops"
-"I have a great sense of humor"
-"I like motorcycles"
-"I don't care to say"
As I was assembling these responses, I noticed that it isn't immediately apparent which answers came from which people. These mini-interviews included parishioners, guests, staff and volunteers; anyone who might be in the church during the week at any given time. To complicate this, some guests are parishioners, some volunteers are homeless or recently housed, and current staff may be former guests.
I have found that the boxes we so neatly draw in our minds, often unconsciously, blur when set against the background of a messy reality. The beauty of this is that when the lines are hazy we can see past them, to someone's humanity; to their deeper nature as a fellow human being and an individual.