by Angelina Cahalan
The following is a reflection from St. Ignatius students participating in a two week immersion at St. Anthony’s.
Hey There! This is Caroline and Camille writing for San Francisco Immersion on day 4. The past three days we have worked at St. Anthony’s Dining Room, two different senior centers, two clothing distributors, and a homeless shelter. In addition to these, we have attended learning workshops at St. Anthony’s to understand issues surrounding and causing poverty and homelessness.
We have been here for technically three days and four nights. One of the most interesting things we have observed is time. We spend a lot of our days waiting like many people in this neighborhood do every day. Whether waiting for a shower, dinner on a hotplate, or in line at St. Anthony’s for lunch have been on our feet for most of the day. However, through this period of focus we have met many amazing people. As a group we have listened to two recovering addicts speak and realized how easy it is to take our family and friends at home for granted. Personally we have been surprised with how easy it is to make connections to people we are serving. We met an elderly woman who fled Ukraine because of violence and told us many times how much she appreciated us being there. At St Anthony’s we met many people more than eager to give us life advice and who were some of the kindest and smartest people who couldn’t have been more gracious, including a man who traveled all through Europe and a woman who was from Cuba and had been painting art since she was a young girl.
Overall, the past four days have helped us grow closer as a community both within our immersion group and within the Tenderloin. We’re excited to see what happens next.