Redford, MI. The Detroit Parish Festival Street Evangelization Team recently returned to St. Robert Bellarmine Parish for their annual spring festival. One woman, Rachel, approached the team and asked for a rosary to give to her daughter. She admitted that she was “in between churches” since she recently left a nearby Methodist church and was looking to join another denomination. The team told Rachel about the importance of the sacraments, apostolic succession, and the primacy of Peter, and explained that the Catholic Church is the one true Church that Christ established. Rachel was very open and receptive of everything the evangelists had to say. She accepted two rosaries, along with several pamphlets and, after a 10-minute discussion, promised to come back. Rachel soon returned with her teenage daughter and the group further discussed the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the intercession of saints. Rachel’s daughter gladly accepted a Miraculous Medal and two prayers cards. Both promised to take a closer look at the Catholic Church.

Dozens of people denied the evangelists’ offer of free rosaries, so Bob tried a different tactic. He simply asked passersby, “What’s the purpose of life?” Many people were surprised by the question and didn’t know how to answer. Others replied with the first lesson of the Baltimore Catechism. This question opened the door to several in-depth conversations. Among them was one with a former Catholic who used to go to Bob’s parish. Bob talked with her about the need for the sacraments, especially Confession and the Eucharist, and invited her back to the parish. Bob advised that she go to Confession and Eucharistic Adoration, which she promised to do, and she seemed optimistic of a return to the Church.

Praised be Jesus Christ! The presence of teams at parish festivals is often critical to reaching non-practicing Catholics. Detroit has a team dedicated specifically to such festivals. Perhaps you’d like to start a team in your own area?