Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 21, 2002
Street's brutal realities hit home
Priest walks to keep WYD spirit alive
By RENATO GANDIA
"I have so much and so many don’t have anything."
- Luciana Floreancig
The “street people” were given parameters where they can go within the city and were given $3 spending money for the night. On a cold night like that, Baska found that walking around the city is one way a street person can stay warm.
When fatigue finally caught up with them, they took a nap in one of Edmonton’s parks.
The priest was humbled by the experience of knowing the condition of the street people. “I never felt really deprived that night because I know that I can go back to my rectory and be comfortable again in my own bed. So it gave me that sense of humility and thankfulness for what I have.
“It is also an eye opener for me to know the types of people who live on the street.”
One thing he learned from the program was that by understanding these conditions one can become compassionate.
“We can’t be a saviour for everyone. But it’s important to have an awareness of the plight of some people.”
As a priest, such experience encouraged him more to be “a light in the darkness.”
The biggest thing Luciana Floreancig learned was how frightening it was not to have a place to go and not to have food to eat.
“The biggest realization for me was, I have so much and so many don’t have.”
The 36-year-old woman was quite aware she was doing it only for some hours and had a place to return to.
Floreancig, a program assistant at the Glenrose Hospital, found herself wondering
“What do these people do especially when it gets cold? How do they survive especially if they don’t know there are some agencies who can help? What happens to them?”
Her main inspiration came from attending WYD and hearing Pope John Paul say they need to go out and serve in the community. So when her WYD group planned to take part in the Mustard Seed’s Meet the Street, Floreancig instantly volunteered.
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