Hello friends! I am Francis Hart D’Emilio and I started as the outreach worker for Maundy Ministries this past February. I’m so thankful to be able to work and serve at Christ Church Cathedral with Vienne, Nolan and the wonderful crew of volunteers. I found out about the job through the student association at my school, The Vancouver School of Theology, where I am just finishing up the first year of a Master of Divinity degree.
I was born here in Vancouver on the traditional, ancestral and unsurrendered land of the Coast Salish Peoples, at St. Paul’s Hospital, just around the corner from the Cathedral.. The very early years of my life until the age of five were spent living on Commercial Drive, in an intergenerational Southern Italian home. My Nonni (grandparents) and many relatives were always around, and I was blessed with nutritious, home-cooked food based onancient recipes. The things we absorb in our childhoods last forever and these early years deeply influenced me; especially my love of people watching, growing vegetables, and being in the kitchen.
I have some experience with living on the margins of our wealthy Canadian society and know what it is like to feel alone in the world. I left home at 14 and have experienced trying to make ends meet on social assistance. The path of my life has not been straightforward, but I am thankful for all of the meandering that brought me here. I strive to help others who are on the outside looking in, feel welcome and whole.
I completed a B.A. from U.B.C. in 2015 with a major in Visual Art and a minor in Socio-Cultural Anthropology. I focused my studies on photography, printmaking, sculpture, the First Nations history of B.C, and Italian Studies. I have also worked quite a few different jobs in my life, inlcuding: kitchen work in restaurants and bars, finishing carpentry and painting in the construction and film industries, and running the wood and metal shop in the visual art department at U.B.C for a few years.
I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, and I have also sought wisdom and healing from several other religious and spiritual traditions. I am especially influenced by Buddhist thought, Yoga science, and Earth-oriented neo-paganism. I strive to meet each day in my work at Maundy Ministries doing street outreach and in general out in the world with an open heart and mind, and with compassion, following the examples laid down by Jesus Christ and the saints, which include the bodhisattvas.
I believe that healing the world is possible, through a concerted and honest effort to repair the inequities in our society using love and intelligence, and while recognizing that poverty is caused by human-made policies, and not by individual moral failing. Sometimes we feel frustrated when we see others struggle, and it makes us uncomfortable, and that is the moment to lean in, and not turn away.
Matthew 25:40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
I was born on St. Francis day (October 4), hence the name, and I would like to offer his Prayer of Peace in this time when many are fearful and experiencing profound hardship, locally and globally.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.