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I Was Homeless View Comments
By Gail Busiek

BIBLE READING has gotten me into trouble over and over again.

This began to happen when I went to live in subsidized housing for two years. There, the social worker, who was the assistant to the director, threatened me with a day-treatment program for the mental health-challenged because, as she said, I was “reading that book so much.” She seemed to have limitless power over the residents of the five housing complexes in town, so I gave away my furniture and left my little apartment with my Bible and not much else.

Since I had a car at first, it was easy to live in the Boston shelter system. I was OK for about two years. But when the car had to be junked, I tried to stay at CASPAR, a “wet shelter” in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (A “wet shelter” is one where people abusing alcohol are welcome.) It was the only shelter I knew of where residents could stay not only at night, but also throughout the day.

I was happy to stay in all day because of severe rheumatoid arthritis, which made it hard for me to walk. Most shelters are for overnights only. Elderly, sick, or disabled homeless who cannot survive the streets are expected to accept nursinghome placement.

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Peter Chanel: Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel. 
<p>As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania. The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island (northeast of Fiji), promising to return in six months. He was gone five years. </p><p>Meanwhile, Peter struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders, and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit, plus endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death. </p><p>Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.</p> American Catholic Blog No matter what their age, people can continue to make their voices heard in the arenas of public opinion and in the political process. Let nobody say they are too old to be concerned about abortion. As long as we possess life, we have the duty and privilege to defend life.

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