We attended the March for Life held in St. Augustine, Florida this month and had a great opportunity to meet many catholics who were out there showing support from across the state. There was a large amount of people who attended the march that was held on saturday morning. Since it was the weekend, there was the usual amount of people touring the city as well who witnessed the march go by in the local streets. We stationed ourselves at the very end of the march where the local park was to get a chance to meet and talk with people. 

In the first hour we met a woman named Sarah who was passing out these flyers she made on euthanasia. We offered her a rosary and asked her about her flyer. She explained that her father had passed away only a few years ago and that he unjustly was given euthanasia without consulting family in a hospice setting. As a catholic she felt supported by the Church’s teaching on this issue and wanted to raise awareness through sharing her story. We offered to pray for her which she gladly accepted and asked the Holy Spirit to heal any wounds that were holding her back from receiving peace and joy, as well as prayers for her family. She was very grateful and took a few pamphlets with her. 

I walked into the local streets with another evangelist and noticed that there were a few homeless men sitting nearby. I decided I would walk up and talk with them so I went up to the first man named Chris. He told me that he was having a regular day, so I offered to pray with him. He didn’t want any prayers but he did thank us for stopping by to talk with him. We walked over to another man named Sirus just as he was about to start smoking. He told me was trying to get enough money for a motel room that day. He had traveled from South Carolina and moved down to Florida for the weather. He also mentioned that he was raised as a Christian and I offered him a rosary. He didn’t want the rosary (I later saw he already was wearing one) but he took the rosary pamphlet. I explained to him how the rosary could be used to grow closer to Jesus and gave him a booklet on the Gospel of Luke. We offered to pray with him and he said yes, so we lead him in a prayer of thanksgiving and asked the Lord to grant him a chance to get a motel room within the coming days. He was very grateful and we went back to our station. 

We were not the only ones trying to evangelize that day. A young gentlemen had given our team a small piece of paper with the image of Jesus crucified on the front and the gospel message in the back. He apparently did not say anything, but when I came back to our station I decided I would go meet them and offer them our own gospel cards. They were standing only a few feet away at the corner of the street with bibles in hand, and sure enough they were a group of baptists from the local area ready to share about Jesus. I introduced myself and thanked them for the paper, then I offered one of our gospel cards to them and explained that I was also trying to meet people and talk about Jesus. I got to know one particular man who told me they frequently bring out their youth group multiple times a month to form them in evangelization. He expressed that he wanted people to know that they could “be sure of salvation and that they were going to heaven.” I explained to him that as catholics we know the way to salvation because Jesus taught us the way, but we are careful not to presume and judge our own souls since we do not have that authority but God alone. I also told him that the March for Life was happening in the city which is why he would meet many catholics who could also talk about their faith. He was very kind and simply encouraged me to continue spreading the gospel. Once the hundreds of people from the march came through the city the group of baptists left probably to eat lunch or regroup.

The crowd was huge and Bishop Esteves lead the march into the park with the Knights of Columbus. Once the crowd had settled down we started handing out gospel cards to everyone and offering prayer. There were many people who happily accepted a gospel card and upon learning that we were evangelists actually gave us words of encouragement to keep evangelizing to people. There was a woman by the name of Cindy who had a beautiful shirt with the image of Mary at the Annunciation standing nearby. I began talking with her and she told me it was her first march for life that she had attended. She told me how she remembered the first time catholics in the local setting began protesting against abortion when she was young and that through her faith she felt called to come to the march for the first time. She was going to mass on Sundays and trying to build her prayer life, so I began talking with her about my own relationship with Jesus through daily habits that I learned to practice over time like going to adoration and Lectio Divina. I ended up giving her a few more resources from our wagon and exchanging my contact card with her.