Monday, October 7, 2002

A church in SF's Tenderloin district makes a miraculous recovery from earthquake damage and some,challenging a columnist's views:

Along Golden Gate Avenue, a line of poor people waited for lunch at St. Anthony Dining Room. Toward the end of the line, about a thousand people, many of them not much richer, crowded into the church they had saved with their donations. The church's Vietnamese choir sang lovely hymns that wafted through the vast and beautiful church. Mass was celebrated in four languages, Tagalog, English, Spanish and Vietnamese -- and more joyously than usual. A mariachi band waited outside to perform at the post-Mass party. There were children everywhere, dressed in their Sunday finest. ...St. Bonifice is a church open to anyone. Over the last few days, as I've met members of the church, and re-established connection with its Franciscan fathers and brothers, my nonbelief in God has been severely tested.

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