Photo Courtesy of Vanessa Rodriguez
Rev. Lorenza Arrested
Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith is handcuffed by a San Antonio police officer after turning herself in for an outstanding citation for "camping in the streets." Rev. Smith is officially appointed by The United Methodist Church as pastor to homeless people
UPDATE: What a birthday present!
Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith was released from a San Antonio jail July 2, her birthday, after being arrested July 1 on an outstanding warrant for "camping in public."
Rev. Smith is appointed as pastor to the homeless and lives on the streets with them. She posted this note on Facebbok, along with a photo of an elderly woman sleeping on a public bench:
"Released from jail this morning (had a warrant for my arrest for "camping in public"). As I walked the streets to find a place to rest, images like these stirred my heart. This elderly woman "camping in public" represents tragedy... To simply want to hide us, whether by rounding us at a shelter or arresting us, is an unjust tragedy. Compassionate love, that reflects a compassionate and loving God for all God's children, must guide our work with the poor and marginalized."
Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith was arrested outside of the Magistrate's Office in San Antonio, TX, on July 1 after turning herself in on a warrant issued for "camping in public."
She went to jail on her one-year anniversary of living amongst the homeless on the streets as part of her ministry with the poor and marginalized, to which she is officially appointed by The United Methodist Church. Rev. Smith frequents homeless shelters to offer communion to residents, but has been turned away because her metal communion vessels were determined to be "weapons" that could be used to incite violence in the shelter.
In addition to advocating for just and systemtic changes for homeless, poor and marginalize people, Rev. Smith was arrested while in the midst of three-day fast in support of undocumented children, youth and young people who could become naturalized citizens under the DREAM Act.
In an ironic twist, Rev. Smith was arrested the day before her birthday, July 2, and just two days after her son's wedding. Her arrest was documented by News 4 WOAI-TV in San Antonio.
Rev. Smith maintains a postal address, P.O. Box 1115, San Antonio, TX 78294, to receive messages from her ministry's supporters, according Vanessa Rodriguez, who volunteers as Rev. Smith's media coordinator.