Mon, 2 January 2017
On episode 65 of the Iconocast Joanna interviews Father Richard Smith. Father Richard Smith was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1978 and worked for several years in parishes in Washington State. Later, after receiving a Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory from the Graduate Theological Union, he taught Religious Studies at various San Francisco Bay Area Universities, before working as a technical writer in Silicon Valley. After his reception as an Episcopal priest in 2000, he served as a Priest Associate at St. John the Evangelist, working heavily for immigration reform in San Francisco's Mission District, a largely Latino community. In 2013, he became Vicar at St. John's and has worked to deepen his congregation's commitment to the larger community. He helped establish Mission Nightwalks, an effort by faith communities to stem both police and gang violence in their neighborhood. His congregation now opens their doors each weekday morning for homeless neighbors to sleep in a safe, dry space. And, with hostility toward immigrants increasing, St. John's has now become a Sanctuary congregation, accompanying and protecting newly arrived undocumented immigrants in San Francisco.
Father Richard lives in San Francisco with his husband Rob and their son David.