My Franciscan friend and I continue to dream of this epic novel which we will entitle: Heaven is Pink. It would be a book that would speak of our spiritual memoirs especially in our years at Saint Anne of the Sunset (the walls of this parish are pink … hence the title). Here is my attempt at an insert to this future memoir.
I had the privilege of taking a little extra time to stop by Saint Anne of the Sunset for one day of the centennial old novena to Good Saint Anne. In previous chapters of my life, I was able to attend the complete novena, even up to several times in one day. The novena had an endearing impression on me. When I was a teenager studying music at the San Francisco Conservatory, when it was still located on Ortega, my grandmother and I often walked down the street from her home and found ourselves at this parish, picking up the yellow stock paper cards which had fainted print to the novena prayers to this venerable grandmother of Jesus.
In my young adult life, I returned to Saint Anne of the Sunset on many different occasions to help pastors at that time – from directing choirs to introducing contemporary music by hauling my keyboard each Saturday to the parish. This year, I returned simply as a pilgrim and that was a beautiful experience.
I had the opportunity to journey within my heart as I heard the faint sounds of the N Judah muni rumble through the streets, to gaze at the enormous stain glass windows, to peak into Anne’s little shrine, gaze at the icon chapels surrounding the church …. and remember. I remembered all those special moments in my life hidden within the walls of Judah Street’s largest church. I remembered the countless relationships that were created, fostered, and sustained within Anne’s home.
The Redemptorists Priests who come for these nine days welcomed me as a friend to join them for a cup of coffee, reconnect, and laugh about the many joys of life. For me, it was such a beautiful moment to be fed by spiritual friendship. I am grateful. It adds to another page of this future memoir which I will one day write with my endearing Franciscan sister.