Chelsea, MI

Click here to find a team or start one of your own!

This report comes to us from team leader Joe with our team in Chelsea, MI:

It was cold, dark, and misty on my first outing as a St. Paul Street evangelist. I had taken my training to heart earlier in the day and began by gathering what Rosaries and prayer cards I had on hand and then going to my local parish church to pray the Rosary. In the silence of this holy sanctuary, I asked God to send more laborers to his field (emphasis on his field, not mine); to send his angels to protect and keep safe everyone out on the streets this evening (happy, well fed locals and visitors, smiling package-laden shoppers and the homeless and hungry alike), and equally important, I prayed that our evangelists will receive and exercise the virtues of prudence, courage, and charity in all that we do and say during the outing.

To be totally honest, this was not my first “rodeo” as a street evangelist. In years past I had volunteered at local, crowded soup kitchens – but always standing behind a steam table. I recall as a college senior many years ago giving a week of my time during the summer helping to build or rehab homes for people living in deplorable conditions – but never actually meeting them. As a busy young father of three, I helped raise money for a local, reputable Christian based homeless ministry – but relied on others to provide the actual assistance. Today, I evangelize to the best of my ability my own family through word and deed and trust in our Lord that all will see and live the beatific vision of heaven. But to be honest, when I hear our deacon at Mass boldly send us forth to “proclaim the Good News”, I know I could do more. And so, I decided to be more intentional with how I would share the gospel message of hope and love.

My parish Feed the Hungry ministry knew I was coming to join them at Liberty Plaza in downtown Ann Arbor. While they were placing food, eating utensils, cups, hand warmers, etc. on folding tables, I set up just a few feet away our parish SPSE street sign draped with Rosaries and Miraculous Medals. And immediately jumped right into the world of direct street evangelization. Oh, what a wonderful world it was!! Within minutes I effortlessly gave away most of the Rosaries and engaged people with discussion and vocal prayer of intentions. One woman, Nancy, was so happy to receive a Rosary that she went over to a group of her “family” and came back to me with two others asking for more Rosaries, instructional pamphlets, and prayer cards. Offering to lead them in prayer was easy. All this while my fellow parishioners were evangelizing with hot food and a kind word of love and encouragement. I will always remember Nancy, this lovely homeless woman, by name in my prayers. Why? Because after we prayed, she gave me a hug and by doing so fed my soul.

Thanks to Bob and Brian of SPSE for helping to form me. Thank you, Kathie D., Nancy H., Paul P. for praying for me and helping to grow and form our parish SPSE team and thank you, Rita, Meg, Nancy H., Valerie, and Rob (to name a few) for providing me a means to help feed a soul as you work to feed the hungry. I love you and may God bless each of you!

Praised be Jesus Christ!