Celebrating "Pops" 1928-2018

I welcomed a minor into my home as a foster parent in the fall of 2016, a youth from Nigeria abandoned at the Dorval airport. He ended up in downtown Montreal, alone and vulnerable. Dans la Rue sheltered him in "The Bunker" where he was safe at night until social services could find a longer term solution.


I remember when Father Emmett "Pops" Johns borrowed money at age 60 to buy the van to become a missionnaire de la rue in 1988 . Thirty years later at his death (on January 13th) he is being remembered for his vision, determination and his large family of street kids in Montreal; his kids, our kids.
Generosity incarnates the best of faith, hope and love. It moves into action at a time when some think of retirement and "Pops" lived into a new career. St. Francis said: "Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words."
Thank you, Pops, for your feet, hands, heart and vision to love our street kids. You inspire me to practice a radical hospitality in the everyday.
You were for so many "Le bon Dieu dans la rue".


This African-American spiritual is my prayer as I am inspired by Father Emmett Johns' example:

I'm gonna live so God can use me, anywhere Lord, anytime.
I'm gonna live so God can use me, anywhere Lord, anytime.
(I’m gonna: work, pray, sing!)

Let’s get on with living it!
Rev. David