Team Banner Image


Country: United States
State or province: California

Team Leader
David Brandt

Team Badges

New Day, New Location, New Evangelist

September 16, 2019

Well, we have rebooted ourselves at the Berkeley Chapter. We have moved our meetings to a new location in Berkeley proper where we can work on attracting students to become involved. And we reached out in the community at a new time on a new day: 12pm – 2pm, Sunday afternoon. In our recent outings, we evangelized from a new location too; the corner of College Avenue and Derby in the heart of Berkeley. We had a team of 4 evangelists, one for each corner of the intersection — Chuck, Tina, Dave and our newest evangelist – Tracy.
Tracy at one time in her life had fallen away from the Church and became very active with the Revolutionary Communist Party. She believed in the cause strongly enough that she was street “evangelizing” for them in their mobilization efforts. But life experiences and the Holy Spirit called her back to be in relationship with our Lord through His holy Catholic Church.
Here is an overview of last Sunday’s evangelization efforts: We started by praying together and then familiarizing ourselves with the available materials on the outreach table.
Was able to get a strolling woman to pull her earphones out and accept a prayer card. Upon learning she was Lutheran, he asked her if she had ever considered being Catholic. When she said yes, he gave her the pamphlet, “Why Be Catholic”. Then she headed off to the corner café.
Knowing that a nearby Bible-based church held services that day, he watched for people walking with Bibles. He spotted three young men approaching with Bibles in hand. As presumably they would not be interested in Rosaries, he asked, “Would you be interested in learning what the Bible has to say about Salvation?” They said, “Sure, we are on our way to church now.” He gave them “Salvation”, a pamphlet which shows Bible verses which demonstrate that Salvation is not a one-time event, but a lifelong process. It also states that Salvation is not guaranteed and can be lost.
Tina was in the right place at the right time. While working her corner, she met a man who puts out Open House signs for realtors. She engaged him with the offer of a free rosary. He asked for one for his wife as well. Tina asked him if he knew how to pray the Rosary and he said no. She gave him “How to Pray the Rosary” and some holy cards. He told her that he attended St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in San Francisco. He thanked her for us being out there.

SPSE Team Photo

Chuck gave out a few rosaries. Two of them went out to two cute little prancing girls who were out for a Sunday stroll with their parents.
The third one was to a man who was out walking his sleeping baby in a stroller. Chuck sent him across the street where our table was sezzzt up to check out our literature. Turns out this gentleman is a theologian who just recently earned his degree at the local Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. We asked him if he had prayer intentions and needed prayer and he said he was looking for employment. Please include him in your prayers.
This was Tracy’s first full outing. She liked the fact that it gave her the opportunity to meet fallen away Catholics and that there was a sense of receptivity from those that she met. Here are three examples.
She met the owner of a small neighborhood grocery store. This woman works 12 to 16-hour days running her business. Tracy was able to connect with her by sharing how even fitting in one decade of the Rosary can fit into a hectic schedule. She also gave her a Catholic Radio card to give her something enriching to listen to while she worked, and mentioned its daily Interactive Family Rosary at 5pm.
She engaged with a young couple very well. As they passed our table, he surreptitiously snagged a “Why Be Catholic” pamphlet. She approached them as they were walking by, asking, “Are you familiar with the rosary?” The young man, said, “Well, yes, a little but a long time ago.” Tracy added, “Can I share with you for just one minute, then?” He replied, “Yes, but just for one minute because we have to get going.” In that one minute, she learned that he was raised Catholic and yet he stopped believing any religious teaching is real, and the young woman is a Jehovah’s Witness. Tracy shared with them how she too had fallen FAR away into atheism and that she is joyful to be back and wishes she had never left, and how she’s only been praying the rosary steadily since last October. She gave them the “How to Pray the Rosary” pamphlet and Rosaries, talked about how powerful they can be as a prayer tool, and let them hurry on.
She then met a young teacher named Eliseo who was raised Catholic but has been involved with some local Seventh Day Adventists. He was concerned about wanting to be more true to the Bible, and liked that the SDA church offered him some deeper Biblical study guidance. Tracy and he discussed Mary’s perpetual virginity vs the idea that she had other biological children; also Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. She gave him a copy of “The Truth about the Gospel Message” and “What About Mary”?” After we broke down our table, she was able to join him in the café for a more extended dialogue, sharing Scripture citations in a Catholic Radio apologetic tract called “The Bible Reference Sheet (for Catholics)” to help him further research his questions.
Tracy also met a woman who’d been away from the Catholic Church for a LONG time, and she wanted a rosary for herself and her sister. Asked how long she’d been away, she counted the decades on her fingers. Turns out it was 5 decades — one for each of the 5 decades of the rosary — which struck her as meaningful.

SPSE Team Photo

And there was a young, non-Catholic Christian student with an “I AM.” sweatshirt, who said she has a Catholic roommate. We united on the importance of keeping one’s faith during college, as many (including the evangelist) have abandoned their faith at that time. The student promised to give the Catholic Radio card to her roommate as a favor.
The nice thing about this locale was that it had a good combination of people who were out on their way to places and others who were just out for a stroll. We will definitely be back.
Want to hear more? Come to our next meeting Wednesday, March 7th at 7:15 PM at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Berkeley.