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Country: United States
State or province: Idaho

Team Leader
Lucy Stamm

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Dueling Definitions - 2023-11-12

November 19, 2023

Sometimes we get serious questions. So thank you again for your prayers for the Boise Catholic street evangelization effort.

“Jay” and two other young adult men (“JJ” and “Veda”) stopped, curious about the Rosary. Jay started to grill e. Lucy about Mary, referring to her as a “dead human”, asking if we consider her “a mediator”, and asking, “where does it say in the Bible…” He landed on “praying to Saints” and showed the evangelist a definition on his phone, which said that “to pray” meant “to address a request to a deity”. He couldn’t undSPSE Team Photoerstand that there was an older definition that meant simply “to ask”, and that that is the sense of “to pray” that Catholics use when we talk to the Saints. The conversation went round and round in that same circle until e. Chuck stepped in and finally broke the deadlock by clarifying that, if we were to use Jay’s definition, then no, we do not “pray to Saints” since we worship only God. While e. Lucy had been trying the answer Jay’s objection, e. Chuck had been talking with “Veda”, who was from a troubled country on another continent. Veda is a Christian, but mostly reads from the Old Testament and likes to read devotional books, two of which he talked about with e. Chuck. He wished that Christians were more united. He and the third boy were antsy to get going, but their friend “Jay” was still talking with e. Lucy and so e. Chuck joined that conversation. Among other things, Jay wanted to know  was what the difference was between Catholic Christians and “regular” Christians like him. E. Chuck said it was all about authority. For Jay it was “Bible alone”, for Catholics it was Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Apostolic succession. Jay also wanted the evangelists to share times that prayers to Mary had been answered for us, and he shared his own experiences. He talked about coming to see us again next week. They accepted the how to pray the Rosary pamphlets but did not take a Rosary. Pray that their faith is rooted in Christ and that they can see that His Church is His continued presence in the world.

“Deborah” and “Peter” from e. Lucy’s parish came and took pictures in preparation for promoting our apostolate in the parish bulletin. May God bless them!

    1. James talked with a homeless woman, who has gotten a Rosary from us before. Building relationships is very important component of evangelization.

A man and woman from the middle of the state were there because a grandson (or nephew?) was competing in the high school hockey tournament going on in the sports arena. They had approached the table saying they “needed a prayer”. After they received a description of the Rosary devotion, and had each chosen a Rosary in their student’s school colors, it became clear that the prayer they wanted was for the success of their boy’s sports team in the playoffs. May God open their eyes to perceive the bigger needs around them.

A nicely dressed, elderly woman with a cane, who was from out of town, approached the table with a smile saying that she belonged to a non-Catholic Christian denomination, which has groups that are very vocally anti-Catholic. We assured her of the Rosary’s focus on Christ and showed her how to pray it. A jolly person, she said she was dedicated to prayer and appreciated what we were doing in the public square. May her faith be a strong influence on her family.

A teenage couple, dressed in a way meant to confuse their sex, came to the table to select Rosaries. (E. Lucy talked with them and briefly shared the Gospel message.) Pray that they turn their backs on the world’s lies and seek out Him Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

A man, who has stopped a few times before to argue that Catholicism is all wrong and who tends to frustrate the evangelists with his tendency to neither listen nor respond to our arguments, was passing by. So, e. Chuck engaged him in a conversation about his family, co-workers, and travels, seeking common ground in a love for Mariachi music. Pray that his heart will be softened toward the Catholic Church.

“Justin” showed up again, rolling by on his skateboard as we were talking to the three young men in the story above. As usual, he made a snarky comment about us “talking about your imaginary friends” before speeding away to display the anti-God saying on the back of his t-shirt. E. Chuck hollered that it was good to see him again but he gave no reply. The evangelist then explained to the puzzled young men about “Justin’s” drive-by atheism. Please keep praying that his eyes are opened to the reality of the living God.

A pink-and-black clad teenage “couple” accepted Rosaries and pamphlets on how to pray it.

“Jason”, a Catholic new to Boise from a state south of here, happily accepted a map to area churches from e. Lucy.

An older, smiling woman, carrying a backpack and vest, stopped to chat. E. James recognized her from a few weeks ago when she had accepted Rosary from him. Recognizing that evangelization is about building trusting relationships, he was able to offer her an enjoyable short friendly exchange.

Two teenage boysSPSE Team Photo with baseball caps approached. One said, “My mom is a Christian”, but he was not familiar with the Rosary.

A non-Catholic Christian, woman was wearing a sweater with the logo of the airline for which her son is a pilot. She told the evangelists that she is visiting from another state. She was very friendly to us and offered her ecumenical support for our “being out here, doing this”.  She also accepted a Rosary and its pamphlet.

A bearded man, with smudged face and backpack, walked quickly by. But then he hesitated momentarily to grab a Rosary and its pamphlet May God also call him to use the Rosary prayers to grow closer to Him.

A 20-something, bearded, toothless man, and his pal who was wearing round rose-colored glasses, were genuinely curious about the Rosary. E. James described the devotion’s relation to the Gospel and a bit about its history. The bearded fellow asked, “So, it’s a physical way to enhance your prayer?” The evangelist agreed, calling the Rosary a “Gospel-on-a-string” and showing them the Rosary pamphlet’s Gospel excerpts. They each accepted a Rosary and a copy of the  pamphlet.

Altogether, the three evangelists gave away 10-15 Rosaries and the pamphlet on how to pray it.

Please pray for us again today? Ask God to send people to us with hearts prepared to perceive their need for Our Savior Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church, and that much good fruit for His Kingdom comes of today’s efforts.

Sometimes, finding common ground is a challenge. So thank you again for your prayers and other support for this apostolate. In turn, may God protect and greatly bless  you and all those you love!

“Go with the strength you have” (Judg 6:14).