The monthly gathering of Catholic and Buddhist clergy plus disciples was held on May 13th at San Dimas Tsu Chi Foundation. A total number of 21 participants from both faiths discussed ways of helping the homeless.
Serving in the Psychosocial Bureau for over three decades, Adrienne Hament said after so many years in the field, even with strong public and community aid, there’s still a long way to go. “We must be more patient and ready for challenges because the psychological and physiological conditions of homeless people are more complex than the general public.”
David Fields, CEO of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul which is the largest charitable organization in Los Angeles, indicated while the government plans to open more homeless centers, there is a lack of proper counselling and support. Fortunately religious institutions can fill in that gap, offering material and spiritual resources to the needy.
Hsi Lai Temple Director Ven. Man Kuang shared her experiences with the homeless in New York City and Boston. Social Director Ven. You Heng also outlined Fo Guang Shan’s charitable activities. Lastly, Ven. Chan Yu and Ven. Zhao Cu discussed how Buddhism strives for equality and tolerance. “We have order when we are equal, and then we will have universal justice when we have order.”
Coincidentally, permanent member Sister Bernard Thomas’s 90th birthday was added on the agenda. She was warmly given a special card on behalf of everyone there.