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The following report comes to us from team leader Alpa with our Immaculate Conception parish team in Somerville, NJ:
In order to bring more parish involvement and perhaps broaden our outreach, we had a parish information session to give details about St. Paul Street Evangelization: its mission, goals, etc. and to practically detail what street evangelization looks like.
We started with Holy Mass and after our brief information session, we segued directly into a 5-hour training session to review the online lessons with our group. One current evangelist participated and received her training, while six others who were considering street evangelization with our group stayed and watched the training. After each module, we all participated in the suggested group exercises together and learned from each other and from the presented materials. We all stepped out of our comfort zones and practiced saying the Gospel out loud, and praying using the ACTS (adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication) method. It was an intimate training session with fellow parishioners that felt like family.
After we covered the modules in the one-day training, we took to the streets in two teams for a brief evangelization session. One group stayed out longer than originally planned. They distributed about six rosaries and met with a young man who was feeling God’s call to him and had a conversation about learning more about the church. We prayed with him and plan on following up with him individually. We met a fellow parishioner who had recently moved to the parish. Although initially cordial, once we prayed with her together for her health, she was very moved and she visibly softened and thanked us. We met with a visually impaired man and we prayed for his mother who had passed away. We met another parishioner who was a Spanish speaker and one of our new evangelists (who is bilingual, praise the Lord!) prayed with him for his family. The other group met a woman and had a heartfelt conversation with her about her faith. She jokingly called herself “Mary’s girl” because of her devotion to Our Lady. Although not currently attending Sunday Mass, she was open to our invitation to attend with us. She also appreciated our presence and we prayed together with her about her job situation and her finances. We spoke to two Spanish men and passed out rosaries and pamphlets but couldn’t communicate much beyond that. We did determine that they are also fellow parishioners who occasionally attend the Spanish Mass.
Our newly trained evangelists did a fabulous job putting aside any concerns and taking to the streets to share God’s goodness and mercy. We were impressed with how they chose to respond to God’s call to them.
Praised be Jesus Christ!