By Mike Price, current Precious Blood Volunteer
We are all pieces of the stained glass window of Christ the Redeemer. We are an eclectic group of individuals that come together to form the image of Jesus in the Eucharist as a community.
As a Precious Blood Volunteer, we have great opportunities to serve a widely diverse community of people from all walks of life. I am currently serving at Most Holy Redeemer, also known as MHR, in the Castro district of San Francisco, California.
MHR has a deep rich history associated with the AIDS epidemic. MHR opened her doors and hearts to the Coming Home Hospice across the street from the parish. This was the first-ever recorded hospice house opened that ministered directly to those dying of AIDS. The church community came together and would be their first volunteers to care for those who were rejected by families, friends, and their faith communities. MHR is known for being the only catholic parish in the Archdiocese of San Francisco that ministered and offered the sacraments to those who were dying, including doing up to 16 funerals a day for those loved ones who had passed away. Most of these young men and women died without ever having family or friends to hold their hearts as they were suffering. Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church community was the family and loved ones who held their hearts as they passed from this life to the next. MHR was Christ the Redeemer to many as they were left behind by the world.
Some people would also say that this parish is a pilgrimage site for those who are seeking healing from past hurts. This community is filled with former religious sisters, brothers, and priests. There are far more people who have passed through this community to only get a glimpse of God’s grace and love for them. MHR is home to many all over the world because this is where they were redeemed by Christ’s grace and love for them. This was the place where they met others who were and have been rejected by the church. This is a community that has blurred lines of the marginalized and choose to serve their community well through many ministries that are offered by MHR. This is where God’s inclusive love is given to the brokenhearted. The MHR community takes the broken pieces of their heart and welcomes them as Christ the Redeemer.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church is an eclectic group of redeemed and loved people who come together to form the image of Christ who is our redeemer. We are a community that serves others because we are rooted by Christ the Redeemer.
Mike is a current Precious Blood Volunteer serving at Most Holy Redeemer Church in San Francisco, California.
To learn more about becoming a Precious Blood Volunteer go to www.preciousbloodvolunteers.org