Churches often take up large spaces, yet during the night there is usually almost no one in them; when there are people sleeping in the cold streets, this building being locked down so no one may make use of it, is a sin. A Church should be a sanctuary, a shelter, a place of refuge, it should be the open place for the holy family (which is to be seen in every family) to rest, it is to be an open door waiting to take in Christ and his Apostles, ready to take in & entertain angels.
Now some may think, “But if we let homeless people sleep there, what if they trash the place? What if they are irreverent? What if they get violent or hurt someone?” Those are all very understandable concerns, back several years ago a priest at my Parish was assaulted early one morning, & we all know about the priest who was beheaded in France & the African American church goers who were murdered in Charleston; but, we, as Christians must listen to Matt10:28 & Luke12:4-5 & Luke12:11-12
“I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!…When you are brought before the synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say. For at that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what you should say.”
So as Christ said, do not be afraid of people harming you or your loved ones, for if you are doing good & someone murders you, you become a martyr & go to heaven, but if you do not do good, because you fear that someone may harm you, then you will go to Hell; again, Jesus is quite clear on this. So, you must not be afraid to spread the good news, to do good for the least amongst you, this truth is made clear when looking at the lives of the apostles & saints themselves, look at how many of them were martyred, look at how many of them were sentenced to death for helping those in need; The Saints make Christ’s message clear, we mustn’t let fear of bodily harm, stop us from doing good.
Also, we must have trust/faith in humanity, we must tell them “As long as you treat this place with reverence & respect & do not make a mess, & do not fight or threaten people, you may stay here.” & I promise you 99% of them will do as is asked, in thanksgiving for them having a place to sleep, etc. As for that 1%, we covered that issue above, be not afraid.
What else can a church do for the poor?
- They can make sure that everyone is always invited to perpetual Eucharistic adoration, as long as they are respectful & reverent.
- They could create a room where anyone can put extra food that they do not wish to eat & where anyone can get food that they would like to eat.
These are just a few things which churches can do to help those in need.
How can a church better engage the community & get more people to spend their free time at The Church?
- The Church can keep open their religious library so that anyone may come in & read religious books any time they wish & the church can set up a book checkout system so people may take the books home.
- The Church could celebrate more events like Saint Patrick’s Day, Saint Valentine’s Day, Saint Nicholas’ Day, All Saint’s Day, etc, by throwing big parties which have fun & entertainment, but which also maintain focus on the solemnity and holiness of the day, reconnecting people to the truths about those Saints & how those Saints would want them to celebrate in their memories.
- Like in Medieval times, The Church can make themselves the centre of the community, it can engage the community in all aspects of people’s lives, it can make itself a place that people want to go during all hours of the day, a place where people can gather, meet up, read, talk, work on projects together, a place where people can spend their whole lives, where people want to go in whatever spare time they have & where people wish to make the time to be at.
The Church is the Body of Christ, we must be His hands on earth, we must tend to the poor, the sick, & each other. The Church must intertwine itself with the community, it must be an active part of the community if it wants people to make The Church an active part of their lives.
– Jack Danya Kemplin