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

What is Father Dan Thinking 11-19-23

F**k, yeah! I’d love a half a pastrami on rye sandwich!


I generally eat a light lunch, and when I order a sandwich or some such thing that’s neatly divisible by two, I wrap up one half to give away and eat the other half myself. This is better for my diet and digestion, and better for street parishioners who could use some food.


Coming home last Monday from San Damiano Friary, where I celebrate noon Mass with the friars and have lunch afterward, I held in a box a half a pastrami on rye sandwich from the Dolores Park Café, on the corner of 18th and Dolores. Normally, when I take the #33 bus, I get off at Waller, but Monday I got off at Haight, the next stop. There I met Mike, who had just finished looking in the trash can on the south-east corner of the intersection. When I asked if he wanted a half a pastrami on rye sandwich, he gave me his answer. Mike went on to say that something in him had switched – a bit of divine intervention and maturity, perhaps – in the past couple of years. He used to curse and say, “Why me?!?” Now, he looks at hardships (like looking for food from a trash can) as a way to build strength and resilience, and as a way to build gratitude for when things go right, like a half a pastrami on rye sandwich from his parish priest.


Making my way home by way of the 1400 block of Haight, I stopped at the Pork Store Café. At the end of their day, they usually have coffee and they’re always happy to pour me a free cup. As I was chatting with Amber the waitress, a man walked by with a large, male, in-tact (if you know what I mean) dog. The dog either hates skateboarders or wants to have sex with them – his owner can’t decide – and lunged at one, causing the man to drop the cannister of joints he hoped to sell, scattering them all over the sidewalk. I went outside and asked if he would like my help picking them up, and he thankfully accepted. When I gave him my handful, he asked my name, and I said “Father Dan.” He replied, “my name is Daniel.” “Well,” I said, “it’s just one Dan thing after another, isn’t it?” – a bad pun I make every time I meet someone with my name. “Only God can judge me,” replied Daniel with a smile, quoting the Hebrew definition of our name.


Street theology and biblical studies, in ten minutes time, all on one block. God is good!


God’s blessings and peace,


Dan+

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