Wheaton… We’ll See You Soon!

Well folks, our little band of volunteers has been quite proactive in the short time we’ve had this Joliet Chapter running. Even before our first meeting (which is at 7 PM on May 30th at the Blanchette Catholic Center), we’ve already been discussing and sharing ideas and how to spread the Good News of our Lord Jesus to the masses. And in addition to sharing these ideas, we’ve managed to secure our first evangelization event!

The Joliet Chapter of SPSE will have its first outing on June 2nd at the “Taste of Wheaton” festival! We’ll have a booth on the main drag and will be reaching a lot of people, as this event has gotten very popular! More info will be forthcoming!

We’ve also gotten some more help from other generous members. We recently obtained an A-Frame sign for when we go out to evangelize, as can be seen below.

We also obtained 100 more rosaries from Our Lady’s Rosary makers in Louisville, KY, courtesy of the Hobart SPSE Chapter. A big thank you to their chapter coordinator, Maria!

So as we prepare to go out for the first time as a team, I’ve been realizing how necessary prayer is to this operation. As Scripture tells us, “Pray unceasingly” (cf. 1 Thess. 5:16-18). I’ve been taking some courses online through the University of Notre Dame recently, and we just finished a unit on the sacraments of healing, which also covered the beautiful gift the Church has given us in indulgences.

I was looking at the Enchiridion of Indulgences and was curious if there was a specific indulgence for going out “into the streets”. While those exact words weren’t mentioned, there actually IS a partial indulgence attached to the good work that we do in reaching people through our ministry of street evangelization! Check out page 13 of the Enchiridion from the link above to see what I mean. I’ll quote the relevant portions, from pages 11 and 13 below, emphases mine:

Presented in the first place are three grants of indulgences, intended to serve as a reminder to the faithful to infuse with the Christian spirit the actions that go to make up their daily lives and to strive in the ordering of their lives toward the perfection of charity.

The first and second grants are a resume of many given in times past…

Second General Grant

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who in a spirit of faith and mercy give of themselves or of their goods to serve their brothers in need. This second grant is intended to serve as an incentive to the faithful to perform more frequent acts of charity and mercy, thus following the example and obeying the command of Christ Jesus. 

However, not all works of charity are thus indulgenced, but only those which “serve their 
brothers in need,” in need, for example, of food or clothing for the body or of instruction or comfort for the soul.

II Vatican Council, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, n. 8: Wherever there are people in need of food and drink, clothing, housing, medicine, employment, education; wherever men lack the facilities necessary for living a truly human life or are afflicted with serious distress or illness or suffer exile or imprisonment, there Christian charity should seek them out and find them, console them with great solicitude and help them with appropriate relief…. In order that the exercise of charity on this scale may be unexceptionable in appearance as well as in fact, it is altogether necessary to consider in one’s neighbor the image of God in which he has been created, and also Christ the Lord to whom is really offered whatever is given to a needy person.

Jesus Christ, and His Bride the Church, are necessary for living a truly human life. While we may easily acknowledge that people are materially destitute, we often forget that many people around us are also spiritually destitute. They truly need Jesus in their lives and they truly need the sacraments! “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).

We will be not only telling people about Jesus and educating them about His deep love for us, but we will also be consoling and comforting people in prayer. Just look at all the testimonials on SPSE’s main website or newsletter, and you’ll see how the power of prayer with those individuals that walk up to us affects everyone. So each and every time we go out, we should remember that through our loving Mother Church, we can receive an indulgence which can be applied to our own soul or the souls of our loved ones in purgatory. How awesome is that?!

Keep in mind, that the indulgence offered is partial and not a plenary, or full, indulgence. Therefore there are a couple things to keep in mind. First, partial indulgences are easier to obtain than plenary indulgences. For instance, one isn’t required to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father (it’s always good to though!) or go to Confession. Here’s what is necessary. To gain a partial indulgence one must:

  • be in a state of grace (free of mortal sin). A good Confession isn’t otherwise necessary, but a contrite heart for even venial sin is.
  • intend to receive the indulgence
  • perform the prescribed action of the indulgence

The graces that will come forth from this ministry will be numerous, I’m confident of that. Please continue to keep praying for our apostolate’s success and join us at our meeting if you’re able to. If you’d like to be added to the chapter’s e-mail list, please contact me so that I can add you!

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