• Dr. Teresa Van Woy


I love synchronicity, and more and more keeps showing up as I write my story.

As I wrote a chapter in my memoir about Saint Anthony's Dining Room, the soup kitchen for the homeless in San Francisco, I was brought back to my days as a child waiting in the long lines to be fed. Around the corner, was a beautiful Catholic Church, St. Boniface where our family befriended Brother Adrian. I tried to contact Brother Adrian as I reminisced of our times there, but the current secretary didn't know of him. Meanwhile, at work, I noticed a clerical collar around the neck of my first patient of the day. As I treated him, I asked him about his collar. He explained that he was a friar in Napa, sent there after he retired from a church in the tenderloin of San Francisco... St. Boniface. He spoke fondly of brother Adrian, who transferred to Santa Barbara in the late 70s, and went on to tell me that his uncle was father Alfred Boeddeker, the founder of Saint Anthony's dining room. I almost dropped my scalpel! Knowing that my day of 22 patients would be completely backed up if I read him the chapter, I pulled out my phone, and read it to him anyway. After I left the room, every cell in my body buzzed with excitement. I clicked the mouse on my computer to check my schedule, and both my second and third patients of the day had called in and canceled. I walked into the room of my fourth patient completely on time.

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