Belleville, IL. Here is a picture from a recent event for the homeless at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville, Illinois. The St. Paul Street Evangelization St. Louis – Downtown / Belleville team was present by invitation. The night started with soup and bread over at the school cafeteria, followed by an ecumenical prayer service in the foyer of the Cathedral, a candlelight procession to the undercroft area (singing O Come O Come Emmanuel), fellowship, snacks, all before bed time.
Evangelist James had several great discussions in the cafeteria. He talked with a man named Michael who shared a lot about his daughter. He recalled her birth – the when, where, and how. He was visually impaired and apparently had been living on the street. James visited also with another man, Philip, who welcomed him to sit down with him as he enjoyed some corn bread. Philip spoke about how he needed to have his teeth worked on, his knee replaced, and other health issues. He spoke about his fifteen year old twin daughters, and asked James to pray for his health. They prayed right there at the table. Philip said he was glad they were there.
James also met a second man named Michael, who was upset that the directions to the event were confusing. He was enjoying a bowl of chili and asked James to keep him company while he ate. He told him that he had just gotten his bike out of the shop and was enjoying the park in East St. Louis, when some young kid came up and hit him in the head and took his bike. He said, “Can you imagine someone hitting a sixty year old man in the head?” He said he had been to Catholic school (St. Mattthew’s) in St. Louis and had “roller-skated with a nun.” James asked him where he was going to church, and he said he was going to the Baptist Church, so James invited him to come home to the Catholic Church. He was wearing chains around his neck, so James offered him a miraculous medal. He said, “Yes I’d like to have one – and I’ll take one of those gold ones too” (a holy face medal).
In the portico of the Cathedral they held an ecumenical prayer service. They read scripture, sang hymns, and several gave reflections. Bishop Braxton was present and spoke about an occurrence this summer where priests from the diocese assisted an immigrant family who were living in their car and having a new baby.
There was a candlelight procession to the undercroft. Several of our evangelists were present including Adam and his friend Graham. Three brothers from the Dominican community also came over from St. Louis and were talking to people in the room. Between them all, there were several great conversations and people took requests for prayer. Our evangelists had several warm conversations with Monsignor Myler and Bishop Braxton, and the many deacons who support the team, and others. The Holy Spirit was truly present in these loving interactions with people in need.
Please keep all involved continually in your prayers. Also praise and serve the Lord always, and consider joining this or another one of our teams!