March 16th 2019 – Philly Parkway / Cathedral area

(NH) Don, Nancy and Deacon Mark headed down to the Philadelphia Cathedral area, certain that with St. Patrick’s weekend, there would be tourists.  There was a large group of kids on tour who were very excited to receive rosaries and blessed medals.  Many of the adult tourists and suburbanites hurried along, wanting to get out of the chill.  Early on, a pickup truck stopped at the traffic light in front of us.  A young worker jumped out, running up, asking for prayer for his family, and a rosary.  We were happy to oblige.  His truck mates started leaving without him and he had to quickly leave to catch up and jump back in.

One lady that stopped, Lucille, was very pleased to meet us.  She told us that she had just left serving breakfast at a homeless shelter and was heading to the library to do some research on some ideas for helping them.  Lucille told us how happy she was to see us out there on the sidewalk, offering to pray with people and speak with them about God.  We told of how we are so privileged to be allowed to be the hands and feet and heart of Jesus and Lucille agreed.

A young man named Charles told us that he would like to pray.  When asked if he had anything special to pray to God about, any intentions, he said that he wanted to thank God for being able to get up that day.  It was amazing to hear this young man, apparently quite poor, want to praise God for what he had.  We lifted up his prayers of thanks with him and asked God to especially bless Charles with great knowledge of His love for him and his job to share the love of Jesus with all who he meets.  Charles was please to accept a blessed crucifix to wear.

An older man named Stan came by a little later.  He had a green coat on to which we exclaimed that his coat was particularly celebratory for St. Patty’s day!  Stan was pleased and told us that he was part Irish and Catholic to boot.  He told us that he wanted to pray with us about his methadone treatment and how good it would be if he were done with it.  Stan wanted to move upstate to live with and care for his 84 year old sister, Teresa.  He said that the methadone treatment worked and helped him but he was struggling with other health issues and worries too.  Stan was told that he had hardening of the arteries and that he might have to get his left leg amputated if it “goes downhill”.  We touched his left leg below the knee, and prayed for Jesus the great healer to have mercy on Stan and heal his left leg.  We greatly pray for God to move in this way of mercy for Stan.  We also spoke of the importance of receiving the blessed sacrament and Stan assured us that he went to the Cathedral frequently and that he had not thought of how important it was to receive Christ in the Eucharist.  He wanted to hear more about it.  Nancy mentioned a quote from one of the talks she heard, “We consume Christ in order to be consumed with Him”.  How beautiful is it that Our Lord wants us to receive Him in such an unfathomable and intimate way!

Finally, a woman named Hah came by.  She was immediately recognized as we prayed with her almost two years ago (http://streetevangelization.com/lowerbucks/2017/06/10/saturday-june-10th-warm-day-warm-hearts-philly/).  Hah, Vietnamese immigrant, had been homeless and seemed in dire straits when we last me her.  She was beside herself with anger and hurt over her family ties that were broken.  She appeared to be under the influence of something.  Today Hah was tremendously better!  She said that she now has an apartment.  She spoke of an outreach worker named Chris who helped her get identification and food and shelter.  Her eyes were clear and she looked lovely.  Hah said that she still was not in touch with her family, that she could not even go to them to get her identification worked out, for fear of her father killing her.  Hah continues to struggle with the pain of loss of family.  She tells of how her brothers who have done wrong were forgiven but she will never be because she is a daughter.  Nonetheless, Hah praised God for His working in her life and she wore a little pin of the Blessed Mother with infant Jesus on the lapel of her pretty wool coat.  The difference in Hah’s appearance from two years ago to this day is nothing short of miraculous!

Please pray for the following people in your prayers:

  • Hah – for healing of her family brokenness and bitterness to that of loving and merciful
  • Stan – for his well being and good health and for healing of his left leg
  • Bruce – for his health and well being
  • Charles – to feel God’s presence strongly in his life guiding him
  • Lucille – for blessings on her ministry efforts and her good health
  • Young construction worker – for his family and continued faithfulness in Our Lord at work in his life
  • Two young women from Tallahassee – for their safe travels and continued faith journey (one is preparing to become Catholic!, very pleased to receive and hear story of miraculous medal)

Parish Home Visits – February 16 2019

(NH) Nancy and Deacon Mark took to the streets of Ambler to knock and speak with St. Joseph’s parishioners.  There was a chill but it was fortunately a sunny February day.  The team went to Mass at St. Alphonsus to be readied for ministry, as St. Joe’s has no Saturday morning Mass.  Using Google Maps uploaded with parishioner addresses, the team set about knocking on parishioner doors to explain that Deacon Mark is from the parish and they were looking for input on how the parish and Church is serving them and whether they would like their homes blessed and for any prayer intentions.

Details:

A kind man answered at the first home and invited us in to chat.  The woman of the house exclaimed how pleased her mom would be that we came to visit.  She told of how her mom had a considerable reversion, following the death of her father on this exact date 10 years prior, and now is an Extraordinary Minister at her parish.  This adult daughter explained that she is raising her children in the Catholic faith but that she is having difficulty getting to Mass and growing in faith herself.  Nancy witnessed to her own reversion some years ago when realizing that she struggled with Church teaching and lack of understanding why many things were taught.  The faith had been more a set of rules to follow, then a relationship where one prays and worships and loves out of love for God.  The homeowner agreed that she wanted to learn more too and that a recent sudden death of her best friend has brought her to looking for God in her life more than ever.  The deceased best friend’s name happened to have been Nancy as well. She accepted Rediscover Catholicism and Rediscover Jesus books.  Deacon Mark wanted to bless the home.  He had forgotten to bring holy water but this woman happened to get holy water the day before and a paper with a house blessing on it, and he used this to bless the home and family.  Truly, the number of “coincidences” with this home visit was staggering.  It is a beautiful privilege to see God’s hand at work in clear amazing ways.

At another home a young man answered the door in pajama pants.  He was not comfortable inviting us in but wanted to speak with us.  He told us that was going to get changed and for us to wait.  Mike came out and was pleased to speak with us.  He told us of having been raised in the parish but then left to go to a Baptist church for a bit and now considered himself an atheist.  Asking him “what does he believe in?” he told us that he was a type of atheist that thought that any religion could be right and that he did not know which was right nor what it mattered.  He said that he did not have any particular complaints about the Church or St. Joe’s.  We asked Mike if he considered the possibility that there was a creator.  He said yes and that there could even be more than one.  We agreed that yes there have been religions that have believed this throughout the centuries and Greek and Roman mythologies particularly lean towards the idea of many gods creating.  Going back to the possibility of one God, the team asked again if Mike thought it was possible that there was one God who created all.  He acknowledged that he thought it was a possibility.  Nancy told of her recent talk with some fellows at a nursing home and their discussion about the number of stars in the universe exceeding the number of grains of sand that would fill a 5-mile wide x 5-mile high x 5-mile long box!  Mike liked the idea of chatting with old guys at a nursing home about the universe 🙂  Going back to the single creator idea, we asked Mike if he could believe that a creator made this universe, this immense number of stars, and all else… and then the craziest thing, this super powerful creator, thinking of us individually in advance, and then creating us because when He thought of us He loved us.  Mike said yes he thought it was a possibility.  Then a most fantastic thing occurred next, we asked why would this God send Jesus? Mike told us that God would do that to show humans His love for us, that it would be a natural way for an amazingly powerful creator to draw his human creatures closer to Himself.  Wow!  We asked Mike if we could join hands and pray with and for him and he said yes.  We prayed that our visit was going to help him come to know and love God and the Christian religion he was baptized into.  Mike accepted a Crucifix telling us he did not have any of those for his room and would like one.  Praise be to God who works in the most mysterious ways!

The team visited another home with a family and the dad answered the door and invited us into his home.  He said that he and his family regularly attended Mass as St. Joe’s and that he has told his kids that it is important to keep their faith.  The homeowner mentioned that he is very pleased to have Deacon Mark at the parish as he finds his homilies very good and relatable to family life since the Deacon has a family himself.  He spoke of the difficulties of raising kids in today’s world and Nancy and Deacon Mark agreed.  He thanked the Deacon for his service to the parish and for our prayers for him and his family.

Finally the team visited a Hispanic family where Deacon Mark’s Spanish speaking skills came in so handy once again!   The homeowner told of how appreciative she is of the parish, that the recently formed Spanish prayer group was a great blessing to her.  She also told of how parish staff helped her navigate her way to become a legal citizen of the US last year and how grateful she is for having St. Joseph’s parish in her life and the life of her family.  The Deacon prayed with her and blessed the home and the family’s little shrine to Our Lady of Guadeloupe.

It was a fantastic blessing to have had the opportunity to speak about the Church and the parish of St. Joe’s with these parishioners.  Please consider praying for the following people and their intentions:

  • Vincent and his Uncle Joe – health, faith and well-being
  • Tina and Joe – for their continued evangelization ministry
  • Ron and family – strength as parent, growth in faith and love
  • Charlie – anxiety difficulties
  • Michael – to grow in faith and share it with his family
  • Shauna and Chris’ family – faith, health, and safety
  • the parish of St. Joseph’s in Ambler

Come Lord, Come Lord Jesus, Give your people hope – Suburban Station Philly 12/15/2018

(NH) Nancy and Deacon Mark went downtown to Suburban Station in Philadelphia for St. Paul Street Evangelization ministry on Saturday morning.  The station was bright and dry, decorated with Christmas trees and shop signs, with Christmas music playing in many areas.  Then there were the homeless, whose presence is a stark contrast to the tidy, clean, efficient looking station…  Many were coming in from being outside in the rain, dampness clinging to their clothes and their scent.  As found before at this location, as soon as our team enters the station we are approached by homeless people.  Many tell stories of woe that are shocking and scary.  They tell of lives of abuse and neglect, foster homes, addiction and prison, violence, theft, hunger, fear and bitterness.  Many also tell of belief in God at work in their lives, of gracious love for Jesus and His Mother, of tremendous concern for the others who are homeless, of hope in getting places of their own, of getting jobs, of being healthy, of getting married, of making contact with their families.  They are typically kind and sweet and so thankful for us to pray with them and speak with them about life and God and what He asks of us and what He does for us.

Wanting to do something special for Christmas for some of those that we would meet, the team brought several $10 Dunkin’ Donut giftcards, as there are a few of these shops in the concourse.  This seemed a good idea so that we were not carrying cash and could steer use of our gift towards food instead of being used for drugs or liquor.  In addition to our usual sacramentals, we also brought some knit gloves, purchased at the dollar store, to offer folks as a little Christmas gift, along with cookies and waters.  The people were very appreciative for anything and everything that they received from us, corporeally and spiritually.  After giving out all of the gift cards to the needy, there were some who came by later who had drinks from Dunkin’ Donuts but we had not given them gift cards.  Apparently those whom we gave gift cards to shared what they had with others and bought them food and drink with their cards.  The care of many of the homeless for their brethren truly cuts one to the heart.  Our team is so appreciative of being given the privilege to serve the poor in the name of Jesus.

There were many encounters that were moving and this post could go on and on and on.  However, for the sake of getting some things done today in addition to this post 🙂 and for the sake of the reader, here are some excerpts and intentions:

Keith – A young man who told of his prior life of alcoholism and being on the wagon for over 6 years, but in need of work and getting back in touch with his family after having been in prison.  We bought him a train ticket to Lansdale, per his request.

Odell – A man who was sitting up against the wall in the station, but looked healthy and well dressed.  He said he was very blessed.  Odell had a speech impediment that made it very difficult to understand him.  This has been noted before when ministering to the needy in Philadelphia; many have speech difficulties and it makes one wonder if that is part of the source of why they are not employed or being left behind in the culture.  It certainly makes for a difficult life.  Odell wanted to pray for Nancy and her children before wanting her to pray for him.

Salim – A young man who was heavily tattooed prays for forgiveness.

Elderly woman – She was mute and tried to sign her needs but was not understandable.  She left seemingly pleased with a prayer, a new pair of gloves and a dunkin donuts card.

Charlene – A middle aged woman who we met on previous occasions.  She said “Hi I’m back and I need prayer!” We prayed for her needs for shelter and stability and peace and for her daughter too.

Keith – A middle aged man who had spent some time in prison and wants to make good choices in alignment with God’s will in his life.  He told us that he gives himself to Jesus and loves the Blessed Mother.  His deceased mother’s name is Mary also, and Keith prays for a sign that his mom is well and with Christ.

Dante – 26 year old man who we met before.  We prayed for him to have doors open in his life for stability and peace and for him to have strength to make choices to bring this about.

Leonora – For her health, shelter, and care.

Henry and Marcus – For their health, shelter, and care.

John Williams – For the repose of his loved one’s souls.

Jerold – A gentle giant of a man ~ for his needs.

Larry – Released from prison two days ago, having served a 20 something year sentence.  Larry is on-fire with the Holy Spirit!  He tell of how he has a job setup, is living in a halfway house and wants to build a good future for himself by following what God asks of him.  Larry speaks of how he gets “thumped” on what he should do, sometimes it is light and gentle, sometimes it is strong and he knows what to do based on this.  He plans to “Keep Holy the Lord’s Day” tomorrow by going to services at a Pentecostal church where he is comfortable, having been raised in that denomination.  He accepted a medal of the Blessed Mother and enjoyed speaking with us about her love of us as her children.

Jackie – A soft spoken gentle women who originally came from Louisiana and speaks with a lilting southern accent and excellent vocabulary.  She told of how she has no family in the area but came to Philadelphia for the promise of a job, after losing a job of 3 years in New York.  The Philadelphia job never came to fruition and Jackie speaks of being stuck in Philadelphia.  She has had some college education, which was not surprising considering how well spoken she was.  Jackie’s story makes one think about how any of us could be a homeless person, due to job loss, lack of family or friends, mental illness, poor choices, health problems, and bad luck.  She asked for a ride to the Art Museum but then having gotten there and seeing the rain, asked to be brought back to the train station.  We recommended she go to the Hub of Hope in the station to ask them to help her get work, that she had employable skills.  She said she would.  On driving home, we saw that she did not enter the station after all but was walking down the street in the rain.

Suburban Station 11/24/2018

(NH) We (Deacon Mark and Nancy) braved the Philadelphia November chill for street evangelization on Saturday.  Our little team started in front of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) but decided to switch gears when it became apparent that nobody wanted to be out on the sidewalk in the cold.  So we packed up the car and drove back into center city, with a plan to go into Suburban Station.

Down in Suburban Station, with the cold outside, we had the privilege to meet, speak, and pray with many homeless people as well as share our protein bars and bags of nuts.  It is always a humbling experience to have strangers willing to stop and connect with us.  It is even more so with the poor.  They demand nothing.  The smallest gestures of kindness are met with a deep gratefulness not often experienced in life.

Early on we met Donna.  She was hard to understand because she was missing many teeth and it made speech difficult.  Despite our lack of ability to communicate well with each other, she allowed us to pray with her and she accepted a blessed crucifix.  Donna gave Nancy and Deacon Mark big hugs.  Her hug, which could be considered a small thing, built us up for the rest of our ministry that morning.  God bless that sweet Donna!

A young woman named Tara came up to us and told us that she would like us to pray with her.  We prayed for Tara to find permanent shelter and for her baby girl, who was with relatives, and gave her some blessed medals for her and her little one.

A short time after Tara left us, she returned with her friend Bree.  Nancy said, “Hi Tara, do you want to chat some more with us?” and Tara exclaimed, “Oh, you remember my name!”.  Another small gesture, the recollection of a name, does not seem like much. However, to someone who is struggling, it can mean very much.  Tara explained that her friend Bree would love to pray with us too and that if possible she would also like a blessed medal.  We were happy to oblige.  We spoke at length with the young women about how the choices we make every moment of every day are either a choice God would want us to make or would not want us to make.  We spoke of our need to do our best to make our choices in alignment with what God wants. This will bring the peace and hope and joy in Christ that He promises us.  We spoke of how if everyone on earth did this and rejected turning away from God that it would be like we were living in heaven already.  The young women enthusiastically agreed.  Tara and Bree were pleased to accept Matthew Kelly’s Resisting Happiness books, which promise help in seeing one’s choices clearly in life.

Finally, we spent much time in conversation and prayer with a man named Albert.  It was funny because he came up to us and asked where we were from.  We told him Lower Bucks County.  Albert went on to tell us that he went to school at William Tennent.  Wouldn’t you know, that is Deacon Mark’s high school Alma mater and Nancy has a daughter there now too?  To top it off Albert went to the same junior high as the Deacon as well. We asked what neighborhood he was from and Albert told us about how he had been placed at Bethanna in our town, then a residential facility for children from abuse/neglect situations.  Nancy had volunteered at this same facility in the early 1990’s as a young college graduate, working with a little boy who must’ve been just a few years younger than Albert; this made Nancy and Albert miss each other at Bethanna by about 4 years.  What a small world!

Albert spoke of his great faith in Christ but the need for all of us to get along with each other, regardless of religion.  We wholeheartedly agreed that this is certainly what Christ wants of us, to love ALL His people.  Albert, however, did not speak lightly of sinfulness nor of the need to turn away from it.  He mentioned, without prompting, that Jesus calls us all to repent of our sins to receive Him and live in Him.  Albert spoke at great length of his childhood history in Lower Bucks playing football and running track.  He seemed so happy recollecting this with us.  He briefly mentioned that after high school he dropped out of vocational tech school due to illness in his family and never went back.  Now he is planning to try to complete some classes for a certificate that will help him get a good job.  He mentioned that speaking of his sports made him remember how good the physical outlet was for him and that he should try and do more of that to help when his mind is full and needs to let some thoughts out.  Upon asking about his housing situation he mentioned living in North Philadelphia and said it was OK.  We told him about some affordable housing near mass transit in Lower Bucks and that perhaps he might consider trying to move back up as he has such fond memories of his time near our home.  Upon leaving, we realized that our conversation with Albert brought back good memories for both us and him.  It was a lovely blessing from Our Lord 🙂

Please pray for Albert to get his classes, job and life on track and also for the following:

  • Jenise and Robert, for their well being
  • Jenise’s husband David, for healing from his cancer
  • Donna, for her well being
  • Tara and Bree, for them to continue their friendship and to be guided and given strength to make choices in alignment with God’s will and good for their lives; Also for Tara’s baby girl
  • Trevor, for his family
  • Angel, for direction in his life
  • Laura, a victim of domestic violence, for a new home
  • Dante, for healing from his addiction and continued openness to hearing the Lord’s call
  • Shaina, to be blessed with being able to return to her home and family

And for the many people who accepted rosaries and blessed medals to receive great grace from God when looking upon them and praying with them.

 

 

10 Nov 2018 – Logan’s Circle on Feast of Saint Leo the Great

After attending Mass on the Feast of Saint Pope Leo the Great, Nancy and I drove downtown to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul to Rich Scanlon and a group of his 8th grade PREP students in evangelizing at Logan Circle.  The blustery autumn weather was a force to be reckoned with, and many of the passers-by were participating in the Rocky Run, but despite those impediments, we still managed to reach a number of people.  Some of us eventually went to Suburban Station to find more people willing to stop and talk in the warmth of that sheltered area, as it appeared that the cold weather was preventing people from engaging with us. 
 
The young students initially watched us at work before actively participating in our ministry, and they quickly caught on and unabashedly handed out prayer cards and sacramentals.  As always, there were many homeless people who stopped by for prayers, and we pointed out to them that Jesus himself spent the majority of his time working with the poor and defenseless, individuals just like those whom we were encountering on the streets.  
 
Please keep in prayer the following people that we talked with:
 
  • Marcel – for his senior housing to come through
  • Leonard – for his needs and shelter
  • Two Indian men – for peace in the world and for their families
  • Salim – gives glory and praise to God
  • Kim – for complete healing and recovery from alcoholism; we prayed healing prayer for her to be relieved of any desire to drink.
  • Tony – for his needs and life
  • Rachel and Alexis – for blessings on their life
  • James – to find permanent housing
  • James – for his foster mom’s healing and wellness
  • Rich – for peace in Philadelphia and the world
  • Lissee – for her family members to come to know the beauty and truth of faith in Jesus and His Church and for Lissee to be guided by the Holy Spirit know what and when to speak and act in her love of Christ and when to be quiet and still 
  • Adrian – 42 year old man who has been on the streets for three weeks following the loss of his job due to relapse in drug use.  His step mother evicted him from her house, and he has been going to Saint Francis Inn for food and shelter on cold nights, and he desperately wants to put his life back together again.

Parish Visitation – October/November 2018

Some of our team members have been busy visiting parishioner homes as part of their evangelization efforts in recent weeks. Nancy joined the evangelization team at her home parish of Assumption for their bi-annual home visit mission and then last weekend, Deacon Mark and Nancy started parish home visit efforts at the Deacon’s new parish assignment of St. Joseph’s in Ambler.

Both parishes ran information in their parish bulletins about the evangelists coming around town. All parishioners who answered their doors were welcoming. When a parishioner did not answer, a parish bulletin along with a note explaining that we stopped to say hi and to please contact us or the pastor if they would like to speak about anything related to the Church, the parish, or ask for prayers, etc.

For the Assumption parish visits a few weeks ago, about ten teams of two prayed first and then went out with planned routes to knock and try to visit with any parishioners, active or inactive, who lived on their assigned route. The team members wore tags that identified them as members of Assumption parish. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and the joy of the team members was palpable. We met some people in their driveways, we knocked on a few homes without answer, and then we were invited into homes as well. When we had the opportunity to speak with folks we explained that we were from their parish and were volunteers coming out to visit parishioners. We asked them how they felt about their parish,how they were doing, we asked how going to Mass was working for them.  We witnessed to our own experiences of faith at work in our lives. We asked how the parish can support them and to see if we could pray with them. We were blessed to be allowed to pray with many of the parishioners we met.

On the St. Joseph’s parish visits that began last week, just our single team of two went out, to begin an effort that Deacon Mark has looked forward to for a long time :). The plan is for our St. Paul Street Evangelization team members to support Deacon Mark in his parish visits as needed, and to hopefully get other St. Joseph’s parishioners interested, trained, and on fire for the Holy Spirit to join the effort for their parish as well.

The day prior to going out at St. Joe’s was All Soul’s day and we had no idea of the delight that was in store for us in the homes of Hispanic parishioners. Upon invitation into a parishioner’s home, we were greeted with what appeared to be a party. There were flowers, balloons, food items, pictures, sacramentals and all sorts of colorful celebratory items everywhere! The homeowner, speaking in Spanish to Deacon Mark,  told us that the decorations were for the day of the dead that was yesterday. The entire living room was setup as a shrine to remember this family’s faith in God and His mercy for their recently passed loved ones. The beautiful blending of hospitality, fellowship, joy, faith, and prayer was like a beautiful work of art with the Holy Spirit as the artist. It was a privilege to experience it! We were invited into another home of a Hispanic family and were invited to see their beautiful shrine as well. This next family spoke of the difficulties of working long hours and being unable to get to the Sunday Mass as a family.  Deacon Mark told them about all of the different parish celebrations and gatherings during the whole week, in the hope of some of them fitting into busy schedules to help bring the family into the parish to a greater degree.

Finally the team was fortunate to sit and enjoy a coffee at the table of a parishioner who confided that she was battling breast cancer.  Her twenty-something daughter sat with us as well, and we cannot help but think that our outreach effort also had a positive effect on the young adult daughter’s thoughts on her Church and her parish. We spoke of how the Lord is with us so in our times of trials. Our parishioner told us that she is confident that God will heal her completely.  We gave them miraculous medals and we prayed greatly for mom’s healing and recovery from the cancer, as a beautiful blessing to her and her daughter.  Please also offer prayers for this mom and all who we visited.

See picture of Deacon Mark at a home decorated for dia de los muertos:

St. John Bosco Fall Fest – 9/18 thru 9/23 2018

(NH) Deacon Mark, Don, Bernard, and Nancy served in the St. Paul Street Evangelization ministry at the Fall Festival hosted by St. John Bosco parish in Hatboro.  We served alongside the Pontifical Mission Society, helping to remind festival-goers of the reason why the Church stands there today – for love of Christ and Church and the call for all of us to spread the good news of Christ!

The atmosphere was wonderful with families, rides, and carnival food everywhere. We gave out lots of rosaries with pamphlets on how to pray the rosary, as well as many blessed medals with prayer cards, easily numbering in the hundreds.  We found people open to receiving gifts of sacramentals and several willing to stop and pray.  Some also came up on their own accord to request prayer with us, seeking help in their lives.

On Wednesday evening a young couple came up to us and asked us to pray with them.  They told us that the young man of the couple, Christian, needed prayer because he had to go to court on Friday and they were very concerned about charges brought against him and that they needed assistance in praying for an outcome that was desirable.  We prayed with the couple that Christian’s hearing would go well.  On Saturday this young couple came by, telling us that they knew the carnival was done on this day and that they needed to come back and tell us that our prayers with them were answered, that all worked out beautifully for Christian and the young couple could now get on with their plans for making life together.  We spoke with them about how sometimes in life it seems as though the commandments from our Father are just a bunch of rules that God gave us.  However, thinking on it more, we can come to realize that God was giving us the path to peace and joy on earth with these commandments, and the wonder of how the world be would so charitable, peaceful and hopeful if everyone would follow these gifts from God.  Deacon Mark spoke with the couple about how they may be married in the Church, that an annulment may not be difficult to get, and that he would help them do so if they felt they needed help.  The couple told us of how they plan to try and do so, to get married in the Church, and that they also hope to have many children someday also 🙂

A teen group of young men came by and asked us to pray for them to meet some nice girls.  We happily prayed with them, asking our Lord to bless them with meeting some lovely young women, who love God and would lead these young men to loving Christ more and more in their lives, and would be good friends to the young men.

On Tuesday an encounter with a woman named Michelle left me thinking.  Michelle came up to our prayer station.  Her mom Margey is dying of cancer and Michelle is beside herself with grief and fear.  She reflected on her anger with God, remarking that He is nowhere for her and her mother.  Upon asking Michelle for further details on what she is dealing with in life, such as what cancer is your mom battling, and how old is your mom, we came to realize that she was not in any state to speak of her terrible suffering.  Poor Michelle lashed out, what does it matter?  Michelle told us that she is sick and tired of people asking these questions, she called them questions that she used to ask, as if somehow it is ok for her mom to die because it is this kind of cancer or because she is this old.  Michelle exclaimed that her mom is her best friend and that the doctors took months to figure this out and now they finally did and now Margey is going to die from it soon and Michelle cannot bear to lose her.  All that I could offer was kindred sorrow.  I told Michelle that I was sorry that I had asked her these questions and I was not sure why I did but that I did not mean to make less of how awful her and her mom’s situation is.  She came back a little while later explaining that she was sorry for getting angry.  I told her that she was right, that I should have listened more and spoke less, and that I am truly sorry for her and her mom’s suffering, and that I had lost my mom to cancer and that it was awful to see a loved one suffer so.  I told her that even when she thinks she is completely alone, she never is, that our Savior Jesus, is with her always, loving her and having complete mercy for her sufferings.  I asked her to consider taking a “Beautiful Hope” book from Dynamic Catholic, and she did.  I gave her our email address and asked her to consider keeping in touch as we are very concerned and would love to keep in touch with her.

On Tuesday we also were blessed to meet a woman who we prayed with last year.  She came up to us and asked if we remembered her from last year, and praise be to God, it was Lauren from last year.  This young woman had given birth to her child in emergency, after a horrific car accident.  The accident left Lauren with many injuries and difficulties in life.  There have been many many times over the past year where I have thought of this woman and prayed for her, never knowing how her life was going but certain that God was listening.  This fortunate meeting again makes me realize that she continues to need prayer.  I gave her my cell number, hopeful that she will consider following up.  Last year we recommended that she get to adoration some and start going to Mass.  Perhaps she could use a friend to help with this and will call to make more connection.  Come Holy Spirit!

On Saturday a woman named Maryann came up to our prayer station and she did not know what she needed but told us she needed something and could we help her?  It was apparent in her eyes that she was suffering greatly.  Maryann told of her sister Lori who died a couple of weeks ago, and the loss of her mom and grandmom also, all within the past year.  We prayed with her and spoke with her.  She did not want to take anything.  About an hour later Maryann came back again.  She said, did you say you have some blessed medals that I may have one? I asked her if she wanted any special saint or a crucifix…  she said she did not know.  I realized that Maryann must be the one for whom what I was wearing was appropriate.  Upon receiving my medals from SPSE a few weeks back, there was a single Holy Spirit one.  I did not order any Holy Spirit one, but found it at the same time I was going to my first charismatic prayer experience, and wore it.  I had added a little crucifix to it and had been wearing it these weeks.  I told Maryann that I thought that this was the medal she should have.  She balked that she did not want to take it from my neck.  I told her that as she could see there were plenty of new ones and I promised this one wasn’t dirty (i.e., teasing) – I gave it a new chain and voila, this was the medal I thought she needed.  Maryann told me that she believed that she met us there for a reason and that she received this medal for a reason and that she was so thankful to us for being there for her, praying with her, and speaking with her.  I gave her my cell number and name and email and asked her to keep in touch.

Finally, one last encounter to mention, is Wanda and Sabrina.  Wanda (mom) came up with Sabrina (young woman, daughter) and asked us to pray with them.  We asked if they had any special intention.  They did and relayed that Sabrina suffered from epilepsy.  Sabrina went on to describe how she has many seizures a day.  Her mom said that she cannot be left alone at all, not even to use the bathroom, for fear of seizures, falling, and getting injured.  Oh the suffering and difficulties some live with, dear Lord have mercy!  We spoke of how God works miracles in today’s day and age to help us all grow in faith and that we greatly prayed that He would work a miraculous cure for Sabrina.  We prayed healing prayer for Sabrina to not be afflicted by epilepsy any more.

Please pray for the following people and their intentions:

Christian and girlfriend – for their lives and good choices

Sabrina – healing from epilepsy

Wanda – for strength

Nick R. – Seminarian – for strength and guidance

Maryann – to come closer to God, to know her sister with Christ, and for her marriage

Zaria – for her birthday blessings and for her family

Hayley, Kyle and mom – for their family

Megan and Ryan – for their family

Melissa – for forgiveness and strength and for her family

Nicole and Gabriel – for Gabriel’s father

Michele – for her mom Margey’s healing from cancer and for Michele’s comfort and faith

Daniel – for kindergarten

Brianne – to get job she is interviewing for

Dominic – for wife Donna’s healing from hip surgery

Jackson – for his family and for him to grow closer to our Blessed Mother

Nathan and Alfredo – to meet nice girls who help them grow in faith to Jesus and to play basketball better

Marybeth – for her family and for her to feel the presence of her deceased daughter Erin whom she misses greatly

Wallace – little boy – for his well being

Juliana – for her well being

Robin and Michelle – for Puerto Rican people suffering

Megan and Ava – (young mother ) for healing from depression

Lesba – for healing and recovery from cancer

SPSE and Prayer for the Renewal and Sanctification of the Church in Crisis – Phila 9/14/2018

Mary, Nancy and Peachie went downtown for an hour of street evangelization on Friday evening prior to attending a Holy Hour of Reparation at the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.  The Cathedral was open for the evening for prayer, from 6 until midnight.  The time for street evangelization was short but the encounters made were memorable and, God-willing, fruitful.

Early on the team met and prayed with Naomi for her peace and well being.  She was a lovely woman, with great faith, and appreciative of our prayer time with her.  We told her of the open Cathedral for prayer.

Next Scott and Joan came up and were very open to speaking with our team.  We offered them rosaries and blessed miraculous medals.  Joan happily exclaimed that she loves Our Blessed Mother and would love both.  She spoke of how she was once Catholic but left the Church and is now Lutheran.  Joan told us that her Lutheran pastor and church were praying greatly for our Catholic Church and that they were very upset and sympathetic to our pains.  We told her of the open cathedral for the evening and welcomed them to attend.  They did not want to go in, but did want to pray with us for their granddaughter Sloan whose parents (i.e. their son and daughter in law) did not want to baptize.  Joan mentioned telling Bible stories to the young Sloan and her enjoyment of them but her not knowing them whatsoever.  This pained the grandparents greatly and we prayed that Our Lord would send His Holy Spirit to guide them to speak the words that the parents needed to hear and to guide them to bring their dear granddaughter and her parents to Himself through their example, words, and works.  Joan and Scott were very thankful to us and we are so thankful for them and their church and pastor for their prayer and concern for us!

Another encounter which was quite amazing was with Jack.  Upon asking him if he would like a rosary he stopped and told us that he would and that he was Catholic but he needed us to pray with him that feminist women would stop killing their babies that they did not want.  We certainly agreed to pray with Jack to Our Lord for an end to abortion.  As time went on and we spoke to Jack at length we heard his story of being fooled by his ex-wife into losing much of his money by additional mortgages and excessively high child support payments and all to a woman who ended up trying to have him killed.  We sympathized with him greatly, and he spoke with us about how blessed he had been despite the bad circumstances that befell him from his marriage to an unfaithful wife.  Jack told us of how he was fortunate to earn plenty of money to make up the losses he suffered, the ability to coach little league games despite the awful tales the ex-wife told his boys and the kindness of police officers who helped him when he was being accused of malicious intent to his ex-wife.  We asked Jack if he would pray for forgiveness… to be able to forgive this person who had caused him many years of pain.  Jack agreed! ~  it was amazing to see the difference prayer made in his demeanor, taking him from seeming agitated and upset to peaceful and even gleeful after.  We gave him a “Everybody need to forgive someone” book from Dynamic Catholic and he was very pleased.  He told us that he was raised Catholic and that it was his faith that got him through the darkest days of his divorce and that he considered killing himself but did not, through faith and knowledge that his children would suffer greatly for it.  He promised to read the book and felt that meeting us was a sign from God of His continued working in his life.  Praise be to God for He is so great and His mercy endures forever!

Three kids probably around 18 years old or so came by and we asked if they would like a rosary or blessed medal. One, Daylin said Yes!  The other two were joking and laughing at her for wanting to stop but they stayed with their friend and listened.  They were from nearby Catholic schools.  We could see that Daylin was in need of something, we asked her if she would like to pray and if she had any prayer intention.  She said that she did and that she was sad most of the time and did not know why.  She also told her of her worries for her mom.  We asked the group to hold hands with us and pray and her friends agreed to as well.  We prayed for Daylin’s healing from her sadness and for great blessings upon her life and the life of her mother.  Tears fell from her eyes.  We asked her friends if they would like to pray for any intentions also and the young man, Jimmy who was a practicing Baptist, asked us to pray for him to know God’s will for him and his courage to follow it. We invited them to the cathedral also, but they had other plans.

The Holy Hour at the Cathedral was a moving experience.  There were many religious, clergy, seminarians and laity gathered and the church was full.  We sang, prayed, listened to the Word of God and had silent prayer.  Afterwards we visited with some of the seminarians, as Mary who was with our team this evening has a son Declan in the seminary.  The hope and joy of the seminarians from St. Charles Borremeo was contagious and we are so thankful for their continued desire to become priests even in the face of so much more difficulty than many who have gone before.  We pray especially for Declan, Luke, Dominic, Thomas and David.  May Jesus Christ remind them daily of His presence in their lives and His deisre for them to be His heart, mind, hands, and feet to the world.

Please pray for all of the following in your intentions:

  • Naomi – for her life
  • Portuguese family – for safe travels and good health
  • Joan and Scott – for good health and for their grandchildren and children to grow in love of Jesus and be baptized
  • Jack – to be able to forgive completely and to grow in love of the Lord and His Church
  • Jimmy – to know God’s will for him
  • Mackenzie – for her life
  • Daylin – for healing from her sadness
  • Tina – for blessing on her and her family
  • Theresa and Tom – to be blessed with conceiving, carrying and delivering a healthy baby
  • Christine – for God’s blessings on her life circumstances
  • Declan – to grow every day in knowledge and love of our Lord
  • Luke  – to grow every day in knowledge and love of our Lord
  • Dominic  – to grow every day in knowledge and love of our Lord
  • Thomas – to grow every day in knowledge and love of our Lord
  • David – to grow every day in knowledge and love of our Lord

Labor Day Weekend – Made in America on the Parkway 9-1-2018

(NH) Rich and Nancy went downtown on Saturday morning to find the Parkway streets closed off for the Labor Day weekend Made in America concert.  This concert features many current pop stars and the street evangelization mission here felt like a good opportunity to meet with some concert-goers, in addition to the usual tourist and homeless population normally encountered at this location.  We were on the early side so would likely only meet the early birds to the concert.

After setting up on the sidewalk, we were blessed to speak and pray with a few homeless men.  In a short time, a man came up and asked if we had been there around last summer.  We said yes we had and did we meet him before?  He seemed familiar, but not entirely.  He said his name was Donald and that we had prayed with him last summer.  Well that was all it took to realize that Our Lord was smiling on us especially this day, reminding us that though we do not frequently know the fruit of our efforts done out of love for Him, that He is there, He is listening, and He is moving in people’s lives all of the time, and He is allowing our little works to bring others to Himself.  This Donald was the same man who had come back to us last year to let us know the way that God was working in his life ever since we first prayed with him and gave him a rosary (i.e., april-30th-logan-square-center-city-philly).  He appeared healthy and well dressed.  We exclaimed how good it was to see him again and that we did remember him and wasn’t it a black rosary that we gave him?  Yes it was, and Donald happily relayed that his life continues to go well with his job and that he has gotten back together with his girlfriend Mary and that she goes to Mass at the cathedral frequently.  Later Donald brought Mary over to meet us for us to all pray together; he had relayed that we were the people he had told Mary about who prayed with him last year when he was not doing well.  We lift up Donald and Mary to Our Lord and ask for His continued great blessings and grace in their lives!

A bit later on a young family from Ontario came by, husband and wife and 3 beautiful little girls.  They were on their way to visit family and were stopping in Philly to see the sights.  The kids were so happy to be out and about and on vacation and were very pleased to receive miraculous medals.  We spoke of how Mary was on the medal and that was Jesus’ mommy and she carried Him in her tummy and took great care of Jesus just like their mom did with them.  We told them that they can ask Mary, Jesus mommy, to help them when they need it, just like they could ask their own mom.  The 7 year old pointed to the crucifix on our prayer station sign and asked if it hurt.  We told them yes, that it did, and the little one particularly wanted to know if Jesus’ hands hurt from those nails.  We said yes for certain.  Next question was “then why did He do that?”  Oh from the mouths of babes, we should have these girls helping us evangelists along all of the time! We told the little girls of the love that Jesus has for them and for us and for mommy and daddy and for everyone in the world.  We told them He died for us because He loves us, to take our sins that we couldn’t get rid of, so we could someday go to heaven.  The eldest exclaimed how happy she was that she was going to be getting baptized soon.  The parents told us about how mom was raised Catholic and that the girls would be going to Catholic school soon, but the father was raised as LDS.  Dad was very open to talking about the Catholic faith and mom accepted a Rediscover Catholicism book and we recommended that she consider trying to get back to practicing the faith with her family.

As the morning went on, more people came by who were going to the concert.  Several of the young folks were surprisingly open to receiving blessed medals or rosaries with instructions on how to pray.  The ones who stopped to pray with us asked for prayers for safety at the festival for themselves and everyone going.  One thing must be said about the youth of today, they frequently exhibit social concern for others in their prayer requests and it is so heartening to be allowed to lift them up.

Please remember the following intentions in your own prayers:

Michael – for his health

Rafael – for his work

William – for his life needs

Donald – for continued blessings on his job and his relationship with his girlfriend

Mary – to avoid sin of envy and be relieved of jealous feelings

Steven – to find shelter and care for his basic needs

Christian – to get a job, to receive help for his basic needs, and to be able to save money to return to Ghana

Laura – for everyone who needs prayers

Mark – to know God at work in his life

Vincent – gives praise to God for this day, for him to know God in his day every day

Ontario Family – to grow in love of Christ and His Church and for safe travels

Brianna – for her safety and the safety of all concert goers

Khalil – a West Chester U student, for his successful school year in psychology

Emily and baby Evy – for husband/dad Matt deployed overseas and for the safety, health and love of the family

Casfa family – for good health and safety

Raul – for his shelter and material needs

Buddy – for the safety and good health of himself and for all on the parkway this weekend

For the many concert goers who accepted sacramentals, to continue to soften their hearts and open their minds to the Lord at work in their lives.

 

August 18th – Across the street from the Cathedral

(NH) Deacon Mark, Nancy and Rich went out for street evangelization on Saturday morning.

We were planning to head about a block up from the cathedral, to our spot where we frequently go, but we were stopped right after crossing the street, right in the middle of the sidewalk.  Our friend Shane, met on many other missions in this area, was there and wanted to chat.  Shane was animated in his desire to speak about Jehovah’s witnesses and the details of their religious beliefs.  He had been speaking with them, setup around town.  He thought their belief on a very limited number of people (144,000) getting to heaven and that many who die go nowhere was not at all reasonable.  Deacon Mark was able to speak factually with Shane about the beliefs of the JW members, having known the religion well, and contrast it with Catholic belief.  Shane is an engaging and intelligent man to speak with, taking classes on many topics, telling us about what he has recently read in the library.  He speaks of how he wants to get a job.  He appears poor but does not speak of it.  Shane frequently has prayer requests for us and he always asks us how we are doing.  It is a wonderful fruit that the Lord shares His friends like Shane with us!

As Shane was still speaking with Deacon Mark, two other men came up right away, having seen our Prayer Station sign, still in hand and not setup.  Now it really seemed the right thing to do, open up the sign and set it down right there.  We met Isaiah, David, and John.  All men were looking for us to help them pray to our Lord.  We have met David on previous occasions.  He suffers from mental illness and told us he was released the prior day from the hospital.  He did not know where he was going to go.  We have a list of the area shelters and addresses and asked him if he could go to one of them.  David did not seem open to any.  He did want us to pray with him.  Sometimes in life we can feel so impotent, see sorrows as so large, feel like we cannot do much of anything to help.  Calling on God seems strangely simple and small, yet in faith, is tremendously large at the same time.  We know God wants to work signs and wonders in our time to help people grow in faith, as His instruments of love in this world.  Dear Father we thank you and praise you for the privilege of serving You.  We look forward to continuing to see the amazing ways you answer our prayers!

Over the course of the next two hours, we gave out many rosaries, pamphlets on how to pray the rosary, blessed medals, and books.  A man named Christian asked for prayer.  He wanted to find work so that he could raise money to go back home to Guyana.  We spoke about the choices we make every moment of every day and how when we make them in thought about what God would want us to do, that it will always lead us down the path to peace, hope and joy in life.  He agreed and accepted copies of the New Testament Bible and Resisting Happiness.

An encounter that was most striking was with Henry, a veteran who had served in the army.  Henry is a homeless man and he came up to us, telling his buddy “just wait for me over there, I really need to talk with these people”.  Henry told us that he needed prayer and that although he was raised Baptist, that he loves the Blessed Mother so much, as she protects him while he sleeps on the streets at night, but he had lost his rosary.  Henry had a medal he wanted to show us, that he did not know much of, but wanted us to see.  It was a St. Benedict medal, which we told him was a medal renowned to protect from evil, when worn in faith.  Henry told us he believed it and at that point got down on the ground, laying flat out on the sidewalk, and showed us how he placed the St. Benedict medal at his feet when he slept.  He spoke of being attacked at night and having not have been injured nearly as badly as he should have been and that he attributed it to Mary and this medal of St. Benedict.  He spoke of how scary it can be sleeping on the streets and how he loves Mary.

We told Henry that the church (i.e., Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul) across the street had beautiful images of Mary in it and asked if he had ever been in there.  He said no, that he did not think he could go into the church and he did not know what to do.  We asked if he would like to go in and assured him that it would be fine and that it was open for everyone who wants to go in and be respectful.  Henry agreed, and leaving his shopping cart full of his life’s possessions with Rich, Henry and Nancy went into the cathedral.  Henry with the greatest respect learned how to bless himself with holy water, how to bow to the tabernacle at the altar (i.e., noting where Catholics store “blessed” holy communion that we believe is truly Christs body and blood) and he saw a beautiful cathedral mosaic of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, whose medal we gave him.  We sat in the cool silence of the church and prayed some.  We told Henry that the Mass times were on the sign and that he could go in there during Mass.  We told him that at Mass there would be some sitting, standing and kneeling, but not to worry.  Either try and do it too, or just sit and be respectful, that the Catholic Church is there for all.

We met and prayed with many, and volunteered to take pictures for tourists wanting to pose with the Amor statue.  Please keep the following people and their intentions in your own prayers:

David – to find shelter, assistance, and hope.

Shane – to do well in his classes.

John – for himself and for his mom Edna.

Isaiah – for his general welfare.

John – for his sister Diane.

Ramone – for his successful audition.

Luis – from Nicaragua – for his welfare.

Gloria – that she remains faithful until the end and for our culture.

Michael – for his recovery from cataract surgery.

James – for good health.

James – to get off the streets.

John – for the restoration of our Catholic Church from scandal.

Anthony – for protection from anxiety while serving the Lord.

Genevieve – for reconciliation with family.

Florence – for her welfare.

Family from MD – for peace of mind and to grow spiritually.

Dan – for his relationship with his brother and for general healing.

Rose – to find housing and for healing from her hernia.

Henry – to find shelter and care and to grow in love, hope and peace in the Lord.

2 homeless men – that they make it another day.

Paul and Brian – that they find housing and a bed to sleep in tonight.

Carroll (male) – that God takes care of his physical needs.

Ron – to walk with the Lord.

Jackie – for her general needs.

Armando – for his welfare.

Christian – to get a job and to get back home to Ghana.

Carlo – to get the grocery job and for his wife.