Sunday, October 17, 2010

Emmett Jarrett, RIP

The Rev. Emmett Jarrett, TSSF, a wise and gentle soul, my one time spiritual director, died last week. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Homeless advocate, peace activist Emmett Jarrett dies
By Kathleen Edgecomb Day Staff Writer

New London - Emmett Jarrett, an Episcopal priest known for his love and kindness to all, died Saturday the way he lived - at peace, in a home filled with books, religious icons and a community of family and friends.

"We were all there with him. He shared his life and his love of life, and he shared his death with us all. It was a privilege and an honor,'' said his friend, Paul Jakoboski, vice president of Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center. Jakoboski has lived for the past 18 months at St. Francis House, the home at 30 Broad St. that Jarrett and his family opened to any and all.

Jarrett, 71, helped organize the New London Homeless Hospitality Center Inc. and was a popular figure in the antiwar movement. For years he was a regular at peace vigils at the base of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, participated in three Peace Pilgrimages across Connecticut and was arrested several times while protesting the war in Iraq.

But he is most remembered as the man who opened St. Francis House on Broad Street 10 years ago. It was an experiment by Jarrett and his wife, Anne Scheibner, to create an "intentional Christian community." It was a place to pray, a center for peace and justice ministry, and a home that welcomed the homeless, those in transition and those looking for a more spiritual life.

Read the whole article here.

Emmett wrote several books and composed poetry. Here is one of his writings.

Fireflies in Winter: Imagine Peace by Emmett Jarrett, TSSF

Think of a baby, sucking at his mother's breast,
her eyes, half-closed, brimful with satisfaction.
Or the urgent yearning of a boy to discover,
touching the body of a girl, an answer.

Imagine a man at work in the heat of day:
he digs the ground where the vine is planted, prunes
the bare brown arms that reach into the arbor.
See him stretched out under the fig tree, tasting its fruit.

Think of a woman walking through her garden:
she stoops to pinch the suckers from tomatoes,
pick blueberries, gather an apron full of peas.

Imagine an old man and woman, in front
of the fire on a winter night. They look out
at the cemetery: the moon shimmers
on the ancient snow. Headstones peep out
from the white carpet like houses on a village street
lit from behind by fireflies.

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