• Lorain County, OH team leader
• With SPSE since April 2019 •
Markus leads a team of 5 evangelists who evangelize at some of the large community events in their county. They often partner with the Vermilion, OH team to help out at each other’s events. The two teams worked together for their first outing last August where they had hundreds of conversations. The Lorain County team plans to evangelize at 3-4 additional large community festivals in 2020 pending local event space approvals. The team is blessed to have Fr. David Trask from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oberlin serve as their spiritual adviser.
– What motivated you to start street evangelizing?
Markus and his wife Mary Beth noticed a big decline in the faith of the 10th grade PSR students they taught over 15 years along with that of their parents. Beginning about 4-5 years prior to his retirement in January 2019, he began studying why this was happening, the New Evangelization and what lay evangelization ministries were available. He chose SPSE because of their practical training and availability of supplies and you actually go out to where people are to share the Catholic faith. The team introduced a first ever Catholic presence at the August 2019 Lorain County Fair where it had conversations with 400-500 people. It was assisted by the Vermilion, OH team, who were instrumental in helping the new team evangelize at the Lorain County Fair, which has one-week attendance well over 100,000 people. The Lorain County team also assisted the Vermilion team with evangelizing at their community’s Fish and Woollybear festivals.
– What role does the Blessed Sacrament play in evangelization?
I’ve always thought of being before the blessed sacrament as MY spending time with Jesus. I never really understood before how Jesus personally ministers to people before him in the blessed sacrament until last year, when I took part in an evangelization event where we invited people to come into a church for adoration and prayer. I saw with my own eyes how people were deeply touched by Him during that event. While looking from the church doorway back towards the altar, you could tell by the changes in body language and in some cases the tears that everyone was touched by Him in some profound way.
– Why attend SPSE Immersion?
Participation in the June 2019 Immersion was one of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life. It confirmed that being part of SPSE is what the Lord wanted for me. The vision and enthusiasm of the SPSE leadership team and of the experienced SPSE evangelists and team leaders ignited a sincere interest in evangelization into a burning passion to share Jesus with others. Their example combined with the common worship experiences at Immersion also gave you an understanding of the personal spiritual life necessary to be an effective Catholic evangelist.
If one were looking for one good reason to attend Immersion, it would be that you learn the basics of the practice and art of evangelization by actually practicing it with others who have experience. Immersion definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone but helped me become more confident about going out to evangelize with a ‘can do’ with the Holy Spirit attitude!