Fr. Emmett Johns, a Roman Catholic priest, was a true mentor to his flock of “lost sheep” as he once referred to them, the destitute, forgotten, homeless, unwanted, young people living on Montreal’s mean, scary, uncaring, streets.
Ordained a priest on June 6, 1952 Fr. Johns served in at least six parishes on the island of Montreal as a pastor-priest during his time however, in 1988 he founded Le Bon Dieu dans la rue ministering to homeless youth, who afterwards affectionately nicknamed him “Pops”.
Fr. Johns was then 60 serving nearly 40 years as a parish priest, when he took out that loan of $10,000 from a bank to buy a used motorhome converting it into his mobile ministry.
Despite a certain amount of warranted anxiety, he circulated during evenings through the dark streets of downtown Montreal with the motorhome reaching out to homeless and at-risk street kids.
Taken part of front page of a Montreal French newspaper my picture depicts the announcing of Fr. Emmett “Pops” Johns, 89 years old, passing away peacefully on January 13th, 2018.
Fr. John’s dedicated work with homeless youth brought him in contact with many including various groups, politicians, celebrities, and other respected persons etc., some of whose comments appear in the picture.
The organization Fr. Johns founded Dans la rue has grown to a team of 65 dedicated employees and over 135 volunteers moreover, it also includes the “Bunker” overnight shelter and “Chez Pops” day center.
Although “Pops” is gone his work continues through these individuals, who employ his caring methodology of dedication, empathy, and respect along with community support in providing immediate help to those in need.
This care leads to more autonomous and rewarding lives for unfortunate, rejected, forgotten street youth.
This is my contribution for WP single word prompt:”MENTOR”.