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"How I wish it were already blazing!" - Welcoming John Shakal as New Team Leader
August 8, 2022
Peace, friends! Our prayers are answered as we welcome a new team leader! Following is my post on the Our Lady of the Falls social media this week:
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” Luke 12:49
In this passage from St. Luke’s Gospel, one can almost hear the longing in Jesus’ voice. This begs a question: do you and I share His longing? Do we understand His desire for us to set a fire on this earth? Sharing the Gospel - lighting this spiritual “fire” - is evangelization. Evangelization is essential to Our Lady of the Falls’ mission to invite all people to encounter Christ and inspire them to become saints. However, many of you may not be aware that there is a Catholic evangelization team right here in Chippewa Falls!
I am happy to share that John Shakal, parish Outreach and Evangelization Coordinator, will be stepping up as leader of our local St. Paul Street Evangelization (SPSE) team. In 2017, I founded the team through Holy Ghost parish, with activities such as evangelizing at Irvine Park, OneFest, the Bridge to Wonderland Parade, and through prayer ministry at St. Francesca Resource Center. The team includes members from all of the city parishes and, thus, is a great example of the increased collaboration we all hope for. However, after beginning my work at MACS in 2019, I have not been able to devote very much time and energy to the team. Thus, I am so very grateful to John for stepping up to the call to team leadership, and excited to see what the Lord has in store.
You may be asking, what exactly is SPSE? Founded in 2012, SPSE’s mission is to train, equip, and mobilize Catholics for the urgent work of evangelization. Nationally, SPSE provides the tools and resources for Catholics to engage the culture in a simple, non-confrontational method of evangelization which involves making themselves available to the public to answer questions about the faith and to pray with those who request it. True evangelization begins with listening and authentic friendship, continuing with proclamation of the message of salvation (kerygma) and invitation to follow Jesus in His Church. Often this involves sharing sacramentals such as rosaries or Miraculous medals and praying with others. Believe it or not, in five years of evangelizing, not one person has refused me an offer to pray with them!
Joining our evangelization team is one way to live out the call to become a missionary disciple. As people in the pews, it is normal for each of us to be in a different place in our relationship with God. A beginning disciple has committed their life to Jesus and is just beginning to grow in habits of discipleship like prayer, fellowship, etc. An intentional disciple consciously lives the habits of discipleship and has a close relationship with God through His Church. Finally, missionary disciples are both inward and outward-focused in their faith, having embraced the mission to “set the earth on fire” with Jesus’ love. They have a strong desire to use their gifts to build up the Body of Christ.
I invite you to ask the Lord in prayer whether He might be calling you to missionary discipleship through involvement in our parishes’ SPSE apostolate. If you would like to learn more, please check out the team website at www.streetevangelization.com/chippewafalls or email our new team leader, John Shakal, at email@example.com
No matter what “level” of discipleship you might find yourself, know that God sees you as you are, loves you as you are, and in that love is always calling you to more.
In Christ our hope,
COVID-19 and Street Evangelization: Praying for Discernment
February 27, 2021
"Blessed be God in all His designs." - Bl. Solanus Casey
Thank you to Pam Hehl for her leadership of our team, which fell primarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, Pam and Matt had worked together to improve the prayer station at St. Francesca's, with a semi-private area to pray comfortably with guests in the lobby. How beautiful it is to minister to the guests spiritually as well as in material goods. At this time, Pam has stepped back as leader and I (Molly) will be interim leader for now.
Congratulations also to St. Francesca's for a banner year, surpassing 1 million pounds of food distributed in our community and expanding their services for the Avila Room pregnancy support services. Matt, Tina, and all the volunteers are doing great work.
So what does the future hold for our team? What does the future hold for our Church? Lent is the perfect time to pray for discernment, along with fasting and works of mercy/almsgiving. I humbly request that all of our team members join in discernment for the future of our team and praying for God's will to be done, first in each of our hearts and second in our vocations and apostolates, offering our prayers to Jesus through Mary.
I pray that we will gather in joy during the Easter season and will be able to plan for OneFest and some other activities over the summer. The pandemic is not over but the saving Word of God cries out for messengers. Romans 10:13-15
Praying for a fruitful Lent leading to the joy of Easter! Repent and believe in the Gospel, my brothers and sisters!
Healing in Evangelization Workshop
March 19, 2020
This last Saturday, March 14th, 15 individuals from the Chippewa Falls area attended the workshop on Healing in Evangelization. We are now inspired and sent forth to more effectively pray with individuals who are in need of healing. The feedback has been great. Those in attendance were touched deeply.
Also Deb & Denise did an awesome job teaching us. Thank you!!
Pam Hehl ??
Chippewa Falls Team Leader
Bridge To WONDERLAND Parade in Chippewa Falls
January 7, 2020
Our team collaborated with the MACS (McDonell Area Catholic Schools) and the Catholic community. We had a live Nativity (a family from St Charles Borromeo Catholic church portrayed the
Chippewa Falls Team
September 2, 2019
I hope you had an enjoyable summer. Where does the time go!
I am pleased to announce that we are partnering with St Francesca Resource Center. We have been evangelizing there and they, (Matt E & Barb N), from STFRC have graciously offered to support us financially in spaying for our supplies a couple times each year. This is a great gift to us. Thank you.
As you know, Molly stepped down as our team leader. Thank you, Molly, for your fime leadership. We wish you many blessings in your new position!?
"SPEI at SFRC": Partnering with St. Francesca Resource Center Food and Clothing Pantry
July 26, 2019
It was about one year ago when Matt from St. Francesca Resource Center in Chippewa Falls (SFRC) said he'd been meaning to ask me about something. He knew about our fledgling prayer and evangelization ministry, and he knew that the guests at his food and clothing pantry needed more than just material nourishment.
Since about April 2018, our team has partnered with SFRC, and we have been blessed with Matt as a team member. Pam H. has been a tried and true leader in this effort, with several other team members filling in as well. The center is open every Tuesday, and we try to be there at least twice each month. We greet guests, talk with them about whatever is going on in their lives, pray with them and/or take written prayer requests. We've invited many guests to our churches or ministry groups, like Catholic Connect.
“It is precisely because he is ‘sent’ that the missionary experiences the consoling presence of Christ, who is with him every moment of his life – 'Do not be afraid…for I am with you' (Acts 18:9-10) – and who awaits him in the heart of every person.” Pope St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio.
Pray. Love. Repeat. Praise God for this beautiful partnership! We are so thankful.