A night with the gang

By Joop Koopman

Posted 2/23/08 at 12:41 AM

It was my third night at the parish welcoming a group of homeless men for a wonderful meal, which tonight was cooked up by a lovely couple whose chili, both a vegetarian and meat version, was outstanding. I am getting to know some of the men. They spend their days in a center in midtown New York where they can’t spend the night. For Lent I decided to sign on a bunch of times, including on Good Friday, and might even spend the night one of these Fridays. There is nice fellowship, too, with the other volunteers. It’s a good feeling to be of service in the church basement where on Sunday mornings after Mass my six year-old is taking First Communion classes. It brought me a real sense of peace tonight after a particularly harrowing week on the job. I need the paycheck and keep coming back for more. Plus the trappings of semi-corporate life and work-style are pleasing, too, in a superficial sense. But I am much more at ease among the homeless, I must say.