Owatonna, MN. Today is the third and final installment in our series on evangelists calling their fellow parishioners to offer prayer and comfort. We hope these stories have inspired you, and perhaps even made you consider what you can do for your local parish in reaching out to parishioners.
The following report comes to us from regional missionary Deb in Owatonna, MN:
When our parishes shut down due to the COVID virus, our pastor was concerned about parishioners feeling isolated. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to reach out to everyone on his own, so when I told him about St. Paul Evangelization’s webinar, Calling for Prayer, it was a perfect solution. After we attended the webinar, we put together a group of volunteers to reach out to our parishioners. We did a short virtual training session with our volunteers and then went to work.
My experience was wonderful. I felt blessed to be part of this phone outreach and in fostering a greater sense of community within our parish. While I left messages for many that didn’t answer, I also talked to many at my parish that I only knew slightly or not at all. Everyone was grateful for the message that we shared from Father and other information like how to find the streamed Masses, when the church and adoration chapel were open for prayer, and where to find updates from Father and the Bishop, and even provide our local St. Vincent de Paul contact for those needing financial help. I learned how people were coping, prayed with many, and was touched by the comments from parishioners wanting Father to know how much they appreciate him and that they were praying for him. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this outreach and that I now have another set of fellow parishioners that I know on a deeper level. Even though none of us wanted to be shut-in, the Lord blessed us with this opportunity to make connections with each other that we may not have thought of otherwise. Thank you, Lord for your constant care for us, pandemic or not.
Praised be Jesus Christ! If you have a positive story with calling your fellow parishioners to minister to or pray for them, please send us your experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, know that it’s not too late to do this in your parish, we even have all the material available at the Calling for Prayer Webinar link (https://evangelizationschool.com/calling-for-prayers/?spei_source=callingMN) and enter your name, email, and zip (there is no cost to view the materials, it is just only open to those that have the link).