October 24, 2013 by Alex Johannigman
Welcome to part 6 of my “week in the life of a missionary” series. If you missed Tuesday, you can read it here.
6:20am– Wake up and get ready for the day.
6:40am- Meet downstairs to begin praying the rosary as we walk to the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for 7am mass.
7:00am– Mass at the cathedral begins.
7:30am– Mass ends and I join the little old ladies for liturgy of the hours again.
8:00am– Return home and set the table for breakfast.
8:45am- Free time, which is spent doing more prep work for tonight’s class.
9:30am– We pray our gathering prayer in the chapel before we each leave for our different agencies.
9:40am– Maggie, Hannah and I leave the Seton House for work. I drop Maggie off at the Mullen Home for the Elderly, where she will be working with the Little Sisters of the Poor on Mondays and Wednesdays. Then I drop Hannah off at Catholic Charities and I continue to Regis University. I feel sort of like a school bus driver today.
10:10am– Adding an extra stop means I get to Regis later than I ever have. By the time I arrive in the workshop, a group of students is almost finished making sack lunches for us to hand out at Christ in the City’s Lunch in the Park this afternoon. I help out with what’s left, and then work on finishing the hat I started earlier this week (pictured here).
12:00pm– We’re getting hungry so Drew, Jessie (one of the Regis students who is in the workshop probably more than anyone else) and I hop in the van and drive to Goodtimes, a local burger chain. Their burgers aren’t anything special, but they have incredible fries. After we get back, Tony, Drew, and I discuss how we need to stop eating out so much and make our own lunch so we can save money. Maybe our bad habits will change in the future.
12:40pm– Miriam and Estephanie, the two students who typically come with me to our Wednesday Lunch in the Park, arrive at the workshop. We grab the bins full of sack lunches that we made this morning and load them into the Flex (one of the vehicles that Father Woody’s Wheels uses) and drive to the capitol for our weekly lunch for the homeless.
1:00pm- We arrive at lunch in the park at Capitol Hill. Lunch this week is pasta shells, garlic bread, salad, caramel apples, and lots of candy. I have a great conversation with a guy named Matthew who talks about how frustrating it is to deal with all of the drug addicts and alcoholics on the streets with him, especially since they give him and other homeless who are honest and drug-free a bad reputation. Later on in the day I think about how similar it is to how Christ loves us. He doesn’t care if we have a lot of sin or just a little sin, he still treats us all the same. I realize that I find myself thinking like Matthew a lot of the time, believing that since I have fewer or different sins than a lot of people, I should be treated better by God.
3:00pm– We return to Regis and I spend the last hour rolling some of the yarn we recently bought into yarn balls so they can be used for knitting more easily.
4:00pm– I leave Regis and pick up Maggie on the way to the Samaritan House, a homeless shelter run by Catholic Charities of Denver.
5:00pm– Maggie, Teri, Hannah, Marcela and I pray evening prayer together in the chapel at the Samaritan House. A few minutes into prayer, we are joined by Keith, a Samaritan House resident who attended a few of our Agape classes when we first started, but who we haven’t seen in a while. After prayer is over, Teri asks how he’s been doing and he tells us about how he has been in the hospital for the past couple weeks, but hopes he’ll be able to start coming back to our class again soon. He’s still continuing with RCIA too, even though he’s missed a couple weeks.
5:15pm– We go to the cafeteria and eat dinner with the residents.
5:45pm– Start setting up for class. I make an announcement over the PA system reminding residents that the Agape: Faith and Service class will begin at 6 in the ICU room, called the ICU room because it has windows on every side so you can see everyone walking by. Clever, I know.
6:00pm– We begin class. Two of the residents who have been to our class for the past several weeks tell us that they’ve been waiting all day for it and are really excited. After a very slow and poorly attended first couple weeks at the beginning of September, I feel like now our class is started to gain some momentum. This week we review and reflect upon last week’s conclusion to our unit about community, when our students wrote uplifting and encouraging letters to new Samaritan House residents. Then we talk about the different types of love, storge, eros, philia, and agape. I ask the students to talk about some of their experiences when they saw love that worked and love that didn’t, and what it was about those relationships that were good or bad. Unfortunately, there are far more stories of unhealthy love, divorce, and hatred between friends and family than their is of genuine, self-giving love.
7:00pm– After class, I go to Great Divide Brewery with a friend that I met about a month ago. I try a new seasonal that they have on tap, the Peach Grand Cru, which is totally delicious and really strong (12%) without tasting like it’s too strong. It’s one of the best beers I’ve ever had, and the conversation is even better.
8:30pm– I return home just in time for night prayer, and then spend the rest of my night writing and going to sleep earlyish. around 10:30.