Robert Kinghorn

Robert Kinghorn

Robert Kinghorn is a deacon of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

You can read his column, "The Church on the Street" in The Catholic Register.

You can contact him at robert.kinghorn@ekinghorn.com

One of the great joys of the Church on the Street has been the memory of a spiritual group that used to meet at a women’s shelter. 

Contrary to what most of my professors believed, I sometimes paid attention when I was in the diaconate formation program at St. Augustine’s Seminary. Liturgically I may not have known my ambo from my elbow, but when it came to pastoral care I was totally present.

Alleluia, alleluia give thanks to the risen Lord Alleluia, alleluia give praise to His name.

The music had barely faded from our Easter liturgy when I walked into the hospital room of a woman I had been asked to visit but had never met.

There’s a saying statisticians love to trot out when questioned on the value of their surveys. “You are what you measure.”

Winter was settling in and it was a blustery, cold evening as I walked around the streets with Tracey, a survivor of the street who for 14 drug-addled years had called the alleys and drug dens of the downtown area “home.” 

It was one of those nights when I was challenged by Pope Francis’ insightful observation in The Joy of the Gospel: “The Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas.”

We all have a longing for a place to call “home.” For people who spend many aimless years living on the streets, “homelessness” is more than a condition of the body, it is a condition of the soul. 

I have become used to the cacophony which inhabits the downtown of the city and usually treat it as background noise as I walk around. 

A Catholic, a Baptist and a Mennonite walked into a bar and the barman said, “What’s this, some kind of a joke?” 

“I’m going down east to try to be reconciled with my father.” 

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