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Ann Arbor

Country: United States
State or province: Michigan

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John Harburg
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Encouraging Saturday outing

June 18, 2022


Two weeks ago (6-4-22) my team member Bob and I went to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.  The whole time was characterized by "No thanks." We even became comical with it and offered people $50 or $100 dollars after the free rosary offer just to see if they would pay attention.  People just kept walking and shook their head.  We did not get into any meaningful conversations.  Bob was engaged in a Pro Life conversation with a college student who was just exercising his intellectual prowess with no openess to a different point of view.

This week (6-18) was the opposite.  As I was setting up a man came up to me so I offered a rosary reflexibly.  He said he wanted one.  Surprised I asked if he knew how to pray it.  He said no and received a pamphlet explaining how to do so.  Asked about where he went to church he said he went to Grace Baptist and believed in Jesus.  I asked if he ever considered becoming Catholic.  He said no.  I asked if he would allow me to tell him the one good reason why I love being Catholic.  He said Yes.  The Holy Spirit took over and I told him that the very same Jesus who walked the earth healing (he said yea), teaching and preaching (he said yea), died on the cross (he said yea) and rose again was in the host that I could eat every day.  I quoted Jesus saying that any who does not eat his flesh and drink his blood cannot have life within him.  He said he knew that.  I emphasized that I was able to have life because I did just that every day.  He said he believed in Jesus and he was OK with his Church.  I asked him if he wanted prayers.  He shared that he had had 3 strokes and was having to walk with a cane until he recovered.  I  was able to pray for his healing.  He thanked me. We parted on positive terms.

The other person with me on the 18th was Joseph and he had a long conversation with a woman who took the rosary but did not seem to know much about the Catholic faith.  He gave her a pamphlet he bought recently called the Penny Catechism, a small condensation of the Catholic Catechism.  She took it and we asked if she wanted prayer.  She said she wanted prayer for Hope and Forgiveness (it was one of the suggestions listed on the sign we set up).  We prayed for this generic request and she was very appreciative.

A woman we offered the rosary to said "I'm Jewish."  I said that we believed in the same God.  She then got into a long conversation with Joseph and she had relatives who were Catholic.  She was very open to discussing things and eventually shared that she had moved here recently from Washington DC with her daughter.  I don't remember if Joseph was able to pray for her but it was a very positive encounter.

Joseph talked to a woman named Angel who was Catholic but doesn't go to confession.  He gave her a pamphlet on Confession after encouraging her to take advantage of this life giving sacrament.

Many people when offered a rosary said they had many at home but thanked us anyway.  Joseph brought 10 Penny Catechisms and gave out 9 of them (I wanted one).

All in all, many positive encounters were very encouraging and made up for the very dry outing two weeks earlier.