Crystal, MN

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The following report comes to us from team leader Sharon with our St. Raphael parish team in Crystal, MN:

This year Phil and I again set up just outside the entrance to our church in the upper gathering area. Our hope was to attract the attention of some of the people entering the church to hear the school children sing during our Christmas bazaar “Christmas Village: The Road to Bethlehem”.

Most of our encounters were routine: children taking a medal or two on a chain, people picking up medals to give to relatives for Christmas.

Two encounters stick out in my mind.

We talked to one couple for a few minutes. The woman mentioned her mother attends our parish. Phil asked if they had any prayer intentions. The man mentioned his sister-in-law (his wife’s sister) died just under a year ago from complications of Covid. Phil said he would take that intention with him when he went to adoration in a few hours. He then asked, since our parish is her mother’s parish, where the couple attends church. They live in a community some miles away and attend a Protestant church. Let’s hope we planted some seeds when we didn’t realize they were not Catholic.
As we were packing up, a friend helped. She noticed I had a zipper baggie with knotted cord rosaries. I said that in a shipment of rosaries from SPSE were several varieties of rosaries other than the ones with the standard oval plastic beads. I bagged those up so I could lay out a couple of different varieties. Our parish school has a traveling prayer statue of Mary. She thought these knotted rosaries would be good durable rosaries for children to pray with when their family has the statue. I said she could take the whole bag (a dozen?) and she gladly did.

We had a young helper, age 17, who evangelized with us when his parents and younger siblings were walking around the “Road to Bethlehem”. We invited him to join us in the future.
As much as possible when we were talking to people picking out medals, we gave them two additional things: The new Living Bread prayer card since we are in a 3 year period of Eucharistic revival 2) SPSE Audio cards to which I affixed an “address label” advertising our Drive Thru Prayer and invited them back to pick up more material or give us a prayer request.

Praised be Jesus Christ!