Dearborn, MI. Some of our Detroit area team leaders have been evangelizing together with groups of seminarians from Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary. They spent time bearing witness to the faith at the student centers of the University of Michigan Dearborn, and Henry Ford College. Here is their report:
“We had a fruitful time evangelizing at the student centers. Many encounters with Muslims, Hindus and fallen away Catholics.
Bob had many conversations with Muslims about the Trinity. He explained the Trinity to them by explaining what love is. They were intrigued … and took some pamphlets. Many were happy to take the rosaries and medals too.
Maisa and Beth met a women named Sid who was Muslim. Her mother was Catholic and her father was Muslim. She was wearing the Hijab and was happy to take a rosary from Beth. Sid told them they were so nice and kind compared to the other Christian group who would scream at her and tell her that if she didn’t believe in Jesus that she would go to hell. Maisa responded to her that we are Catholics, and that Jesus established the Catholic Church, and that the other Christian faiths are man-made and do not have the fullness of what Christ entrusted to His Church, but only parts of it. Maisa told her that, like Jesus, we are not here to condemn her but to invite her into a loving relationship with God. That is what we are all about! Sid was filled with joy and wanted to learn more about the faith, inquiring especially about the Trinity. Maisa also talked to her about how Jesus transforms our life when we let him into our mind and heart, and our lives become full of hope, meaning, and love. She took Maisa’s phone number to stay in contact with her.
Maisa and the seminarians met a women who was Hindu. They asked her what she believed about God. She responded that she believed God was a cow. Maisa asked her how she felt about the idea of worshipping a creature that is lower than herself. She answered hesitantly: “Well … I was brought up that way and that is what Hindus believe.” Maisa than told her that as Christians we believe that a cow or any other animal is a being created by God. We do not worship a creature over the Creator; that would be idolatry. We also – and anything else that exists – are creatures made by God. God created everything!
Maisa asked her: “Do you know where your dignity as a human person comes from?” She said “No, not really.” Maisa told her “It comes from God. We are made in his image and that is where our worth and dignity comes from.” As we were talking she mentioned how she thought that we worshiped many Gods and quickly I told her that we worship only one God. She thought that we worshipped Mary too. I told her we do not worship anyone or anything other than God alone. She also thought that Catholics worshiped statues and pictures. Finally Maisa told her about the Trinity (One God in Three Persons) and about how we honor Mary and never worship her, nor statues and pictures, and that they are only images that remind us of people. So she took pamphlets and the rosary and wanted to come back next week with other questions about the Christian faith.
Maisa met a man named Tom who was a fallen away Catholic. After taking the rosary and finding out that he was a Catholic but stopped going to mass and started going to a non-denominational church, Maisa told him one good reason to return to the church: the body and blood of Jesus Christ! The Eucharist! He said that nobody ever told him that at communion he was actually receiving Jesus himself. He always thought it was a symbol. She also told him how Jesus established only one church and that was the Catholic Church. So he wanted to learn more about the Catholic faith since growing up he was never really taught what Catholics believe.
Maisa met another man who was a devout Catholic, went to Mass and confession, and knew the rosary and Miraculous Medal. But when he was asked “what was the greatest gift that God has given to us in the Church?” He answered “the rosary and the miraculous medal.” Maisa said, “No, the greatest gift we have in the church is the Eucharist!! He said “I never thought of it that way. Thank you for reminding me of that! I will definitely be very grateful next time in Mass when I receive Jesus!””