By John Brett
Earlier this year I had an opportunity to speak to a class at the University of San Francisco on the topic of Sanctuary, a concept and a practice core to Gubbio’s mission. As Gubbio opens the sanctuaries of houses of worship to our unhoused neighbors so that they might rest in Sacred Sleep, an offering of respite from often unkind streets, we create a sanctuary of community. The safety offered, in warmth and beauty, marked by incense and the filtered colored light of stained glass windows, we hope may provide a sense of home that our community members might carry, reassured of their essential blessing though they yet face challenges and traumas. Within this practice, at once practical and deeply spiritual, we bless the space between us and make of it one space, where in relationship we may experience transformation.
As we accompany our unhoused neighbors, we tend to the possibility of the transformation of our own hearts in relationship. As the Gubbio community grows, we consider too the hearts of Gubbio’s volunteers, parish members, and those who pray for us and support us financially. You remain central to our mission. Gubbio exists not for our unhoused neighbors alone, but to meet the needs of all of Creation’s children. Through our engagement with our unhoused neighbors, we attend also to our own fears and anxieties about the other and enlarge the space of sanctuary within ourselves as we pray that such might increase too the safety of the most vulnerable amongst us in our streets.