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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel S.J. Scheid SCP

What is Father Dan Thinking? 10-1-23

An hour or so later, I saw the man who was decamped across the street looking at our signboard. I introduced myself to him and he told me his name. He thanked me for not calling the police to report him. “That guy and his dog came up on me while I was sleeping and scared the bejeezus out of me,” he said. He wondered if we had any coffee – I didn’t – and he said that was okay, and he went back across the street to his things.

On my way to breakfast after Mass, I checked on him, his name is Damon, and I asked if he could use that cup of coffee and some biscuits and gravy. “I’ll be right here,” he said. I brought him the breakfast that YOU paid for (my discretionary account at work) and invited him across the street to sit on the rectory stoop to eat. We had a nice chat and, when he finished eating, he said that he best go gather his things so as not to upset the neighbors.

I’ll admit that my first reaction to the shouting and dog-barking was “there’s a crazy street person who I don’t recognize hassling one of our neighbors.” Such interactions do happen in this neighborhood. Well, as it turned out, things weren’t as they seemed. Of course, the dog-walking neighbor had reason to be startled and react; so did Damon. Imagine sleeping out in the rain, only to be jarred from sleep by a strange dog barking right at you.

I’m glad I had the benefit of a bit of time and space to reflect on what had happened. I didn’t succumb to the pressing tyranny of immediacy. It led me to introduce myself to Damon, and to be thankful that I didn’t call the police on him.

God’s blessings and peace,



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