The following report comes to us from team leader Deb with our team in Owatonna, MN:
When I talk to groups about evangelization, I always share this quote from Pope Francis:
“We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities when so many people are waiting for the Gospel!”… “It’s not enough simply to open the door in welcome, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people”
Each time our teams go out, we are doing just what our Holy Father has urged us to do. We are also following the call of our own Shepherd, Bishop Barron, who reminds us of the urgency of the mission of evangelization. Sometimes we talk to and pray for those who know nothing about God and can talk about why we believe in Him. Sometimes we talk to and pray for those who have a Protestant faith background, and we can share why we are Catholic or just plant a seed for the Lord to nurture. Sometimes we talk to and pray for those who have left the Church and we can invite them to come home. Sometimes we talk to and pray for those who are faithful Catholics, and we can witness to the call we all have to share our faith with others. Oftentimes we encounter all of these in our time on the street. Today was one of those days.
Today when we went out, I think it was the hottest day of the summer so far this year (it got to 97 with a heat index in the triple digits). We went out a little earlier than usual to try to beat the worst of the heat and because Bishop Barron was going to join us on the Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester. As usual, we prayed before we went to the Plaza for those that we would meet and for all of our evangelists. Before the Bishop joined us, we set up our prayer stations and began talking to and praying with people. A man who worked at a nearby restaurant walked by and we asked if he would like a blessed medal or prayer. He stopped to talk and told us he used to be Catholic. I said, “Tell me what happened.” He told us that there were many things, but the tipping point was when he got hollered at during Confession. He said after that, he just left. His mom told him later that she had a dream that he would have a problem during Confession. I apologized for that happening and we prayed for him. He wanted to pray for the
priest, so we also named him and prayed for him. The man had to leave, so we told him that we would continue to pray for him in our adoration chapel.
Our evangelist, Laurie, recognized a young man who was working on filming some people who were part of PossAbilities- a group that works with those with disabilities. Several of the young adults in the group came over to look at our medals and talk to our evangelist. One of the young men with disabilities wanted a medal to keep in his pocket and so we let him pick out the one he liked. He told us he was very depressed, and we asked if we could pray for him. He said yes, but he didn’t want to do it by the others in the group. We moved to a more private spot and prayed. He was very thankful. Another young man in the group also wanted a medal and he asked if he could take a pamphlet about The Existence of God. We were able to talk to him about God and he had a beautiful, childlike innocence in his belief in God. The first man we prayed with came back and asked if we could pray for four miracles. We said sure and
asked what they were- and he said the four miracles would be for his father, his mother, his
grandmother, and his sister to stop smoking. Another young man asked for prayers for his roommate who had died and that he would be able to find a new roommate.
Praised be Jesus Christ!