Lower Bucks County, PA. Today’s story features a team that got creative in reaching out to inactive parishioners at a local parish. This is the first of a two-part story featuring their experiences from the outing.
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The following report comes to us from Deacon Mark with our team in Lower Bucks County, PA:
After a ten month hiatus, we’re happy to report that we’ve restarted the efforts of the SPSE Lower Bucks chapter. Nancy and I tried on Labor Day weekend, setting up our stand in Tyler State Park in Newtown, but were only able to engage a few people (mostly members of a Latino Protestant church there for baptisms in Neshaminy Creek.) In early Dec., I spoke about our dilemma with Meghan of the Archdiocesan Office of New Evangelization, trying to come up with a way to reach people who were afraid to speak with us due to COVID. Meghan had received samples of a small Catholic pamphlet explaining how to form a deep relationship with Jesus, and we then came up with the idea of handing them out to inactive members of Saint Joseph’s Parish in Ambler, where I’m a deacon. I asked Meghan if her office would be willing to purchase the pamphlets for us, and she agreed to get us 100 each in Spanish and English. I drafted and printed out an invitation to return to the parish both in English and Spanish, and included a Rosary with instructions on how to pray it. We assembled bags containing the pamphlets, invitations and Rosaries, and then set out to distribute them.
For the first two weekend afternoons, a Hispanic couple and I visited Latino families, and in all but two cases, we were invited into the homes. In the two cases where no one answered, we hung the goody bags on the doorknobs. We began by introducing ourselves, asking how the parish could better address their personal spiritual needs, offering to pray with them about their personal worries and concerns, and then blessed their homes using the rite from the Book of Blessings. This past Saturday, Nancy and I used the same method on visits to English speaking parishioners. All three sessions went far better than possibly could have imagined.
Praised be Jesus Christ! Make sure to read part two of the story tomorrow, where we’ll share one particularly noteworthy experience from this evangelization effort.