The following report comes to us from team leader Alpa with our Immaculate Conception parish team in Somerville, NJ:
Today our three newest evangelists met up at our usual spot on Main Street in Somerville for their second taste at putting their SPSE training into practice. It was a beautiful day outside, and there was a lot of foot traffic from those enjoying the weather.
The first positive encounter was with a practicing Catholic family. As they walked by, we offered a rosary, which they initially declined. One of our evangelists inquired about their faith and found they identified as faithful Catholics who were involved in pre-cana at their ministry in Jersey City. They were in town visiting their daughter, and we asked her if she was also Catholic. When asked about her faith life, she responded that she was also Catholic, and did her best to continue practicing. We offered rosaries, or to pray for their intentions, and they agreed to the latter. We finished off a conversation with a group prayer. They were happy to see a Catholic presence on the street, and we were glad of their support and interaction. Lord, keep this family close to your heart.
Next, we spoke to a woman and her special-needs daughter. Initially she refused our offer of a rosary, but she was intrigued by our prayer sign and asked if the image on it was Jesus. She said that she had tried churches of multiple denominations, and while she found peace in Christianity, she couldn’t seem to find the answer to the question: Why do bad things happen to good people? She considered herself a good person, yet she has to watch her daughter struggle with her disability. One of our evangelists had an at-length discussion with her where he served as a witness as to how our suffering brings us closer to God. Lord, help her find peace in your love.
We approached another woman, who also seemed reluctant to accept the rosary at first. Upon further discussion, she revealed that she was concerned with the weaknesses in the Church stemming from the “man-made” nature of the church. We shared with her that the Church is an institution guided by God, and that the Bible is inspired by God. She agreed that as a poet she could see a lot of beauty in the Bible, specifically in the book of Psalms. She felt that she encountered us for a reason, was so intrigued that after her initial conversation she ended up returning and thanked us all for being there, saying that she never sees Catholics or Christians on the street. Lord help her find her way to you.
Praised be Jesus Christ!