Our Final Street Outing of the Season
November 28, 2021
11-27-21 Chagrin Falls, Ohio
It was very cold, the wind chill factor dropping us below freezing. It was great to meet up with a few people from the St. Helen’s Newbury, Ohio team.
Traffic was brisk. Everyone walked with a purpose. Very few people gave us a second glance, some even ignoring our hellos and offers for prayer.
I prayed with Brian who requested healing prayer for his father, Glen. Antonio stopped and spoke with three of us. He accepted a miraculous medal and literature on “Why Become Catholic” and “The Eucharist.” He said he belonged to no church and just prayed on his own. My conversation with him led us to a discussion of what the “body of Christ” means and why we need “church” to help us on our way. He also loved Scripture which led me to ask him about John 6:53-54 which is how we segued into “The Eucharist” being “one good reason” to be Catholic. Sue shared the beauty of Catholics reading the same Scripture verse at Mass in every church throughout the world. We invited him to consider becoming a Catholic, and then prayed the “Our Father” together. Peg prayed with Charlotte who had no particular religion and I believe she accepted a Miraculous Medal.
Rita had a lengthy encounter with a young couple. She writes:
“I am not accustomed to being completely ignored. Most of my surroundings are in polite society and so when someone acts as if they don't hear me, I sometimes press..."Hello, sir?". It can dampen the heart, much to my chagrin.
“I was then privileged to meet a young dating couple. The young man was all smiles, friendly. He said he was a believer and then something about the universe. 'And do you have a relationship with the God of the universe? We Catholics here worship only the triune God. How's your relationship with Him?' He said he looks like Jesus because of his long hair. I said you are a beautiful image of Jesus. They both explained their Catholic background, she a cradle Catholic and he, the son of a Catholic mother. He crossed himself and I said did you know that's a prayer and he said he had just learned that. I then explained why body motions and touching sacramentals help us along our faith walk. I explained the rosary then and they each excitedly took one. Then the questions came. They wanted to know about love and if I believed that there was just one soulmate for a person, created by God. I got to explain free-will in choosing Jesus, the meaning of love being to will the good of another and the purpose of marriage being to help your spouse get to heaven and live a holy life. She asked can people who never hear the gospel of Jesus go to heaven. At the end, we prayed following the ACTS method with our supplication being, send your Holy Spirit to guide us on our journey in seeking truth. Afterwards he boldly hugged me...long and big. I told him this (hugging) is why Jesus wants to have a physical relationship with man. He knows how much we need to touch Him and each other.”
All in all, we left knowing we had planted a few seeds. Our meditation in our Advent faith sharing this morning at church was Psalm 46. It reminded me how sad the day before had been that surrounded by Christmas decorations and activities, very few wanted to talk about Christ.
Divine Appointments Part 2
November 22, 2021
Rita is ready to go out even in inclement weather. I think she was disappointed to hear we were taking off December through February. About her second outing as an evangelist she writes:
“A beautiful young girl rounded the corner and due to the bushes, it was a surprise. Her looks were so striking that I blurted out "Hello, beautiful!". I invited her to get closer, "Come over and talk to us for a few minutes." I immediately had this motherly feeling for her. "What are you doing here today?" She was alone and just seemed to be wandering. She smiled, "Oh, I'm just walking around." I got her pretty name, Iona. I went right into The Plan, The Problem, The Repair and by the time I got to the Response she had looked at her phone, texted with her thumbs and waved to a person across the street. I knew my time was limited. She said she knew nothing about the Catholic church. At the end I offered to say a quick prayer, she said "no thanks, I'm fine" as she was looking down the street. She left with a rosary, a pamphlet and a church bulletin and an invitation to visit sans Communion. Today, I remember her with ease and pray for her. I was really blessed to encounter her.”
Sue came laden with a tote of supplies and stuffed her coat pockets with pamphlets. She effectively used the church bulletin as her weapon of choice. Our parish was giving out Advent resources this week. About her first outing she writes:
“I offered one girl a bulletin from the nearest Catholic Church and she accepted it. I asked her if she was Catholic, and she said she was in a non-denominational church. I asked her what she liked about her church and she didn't have an answer. I told her I was Catholic, and what I really loved about the Catholic Church is the unity. I told her how each day we receive the bible readings for that day, and that all over the world Catholics can be reading and studying the same readings. I told her how I love the gift of the Eucharist. How beautiful it is that we can receive Jesus every day in our body to give us strength and grace. I showed her who to contact if she wanted more information about becoming Catholic. She also accepted a rosary and pamphlet on saying the rosary.”
We are all looking forward to another joint outing next Saturday at a half-way point in Chagrin Falls, Ohio the day of their tree lighting.
November 21, 2021
We share our stories to raise faith!
Stories From The Street- downtown Cuyahoga Falls 11-20-21. Rita and I partnered with new team leader Sue Smith and her husband Lenny from Newbury, Ohio.
A young woman, not yet twenty, approached Len and I and I asked if she would like prayer for anything? She shrugged her shoulders. I said, well, how’s life in general for you? With that she unloaded that she has suffered from anxiety and depression for years and is just now in therapy. She said she believes in God but not sure about any particular religion. It has been "a while" since she had been to church. After speaking longer with her she revealed she was raised Catholic and goes to my parish. She is familiar with both our priests. Our pastor came and ministered to her once when she was hospitalized for her mental condition. So after sharing that doctors and medicines were great to help the body, but only Jesus can help the soul and peace of mind, I shared my testimony about St. Therese of Avila “I have no hands but yours, no feet but yours” story. I told her that was my theme for a witness I was giving at a retreat many years ago. The night before the witness, the hands and feet broke off the large crucifix I wear. I knew Jesus was near to me and wanted me to give that testimony. Fast forward many years, and having been away from the church, I walked into St. Joe’s one Sunday only to hear the pastor give the talk “I have no hands but yours, no feet but yours” and went to confession and returned to the church the next week and have not looked back.
By the time I finished my 3 min story, we were both in tears as she shared that the verse about “the vine and the branches” has been cropping up for her for the past several months. I again shared “one good reason” for being Catholic was the Holy Eucharist, the food only Jesus in the Catholic Church can give to nourish the branches. She allowed Len & I to pray for her, we asked for an infilling of the Holy Spirit, and healing of anxiety and depression. During the prayer she said she saw a bird. We talked about “Godwinks” and how God speaks to us through other people. I asked if she would wear a Miraculous Medal. As I placed it around her neck, I told her the story. She nearly collapsed when I mentioned St. Catherine Laboure as she said her grandmother’s name was Catherine. She was just getting confirmation from all directions today. I am so glad Len was there as a prayer partner.
I invited her to confession that afternoon and to Mass the next day. She said she would see. I gave her my card and my phone number and told her she could call me anytime. Praise Jesus! I did not see her at confession yesterday, I’m sure she will get there. There are no “coincidences” with God. It was a Divine Appointment and a great first outing for Len!
A Time of Harvest
November 11, 2021
Well we decided once the weather turned we would wind down for the year. Seems that's going to be impossible. I hope the Lord sends us more laborers in the field as people are creatively finding more and more opportunities to evangelize. This weekend we will go door to door inviting people to our parish. Next weekend we will do the same or in the downtown shopping district. The last weekend of November (big shopping weekend) we have a joint outing planned at a shopping district with a brand new team we have been mentoring. Today, I met with other ministry leaders and they thought of creative ways to use us: door to door to new home buyers, set up at the soup kitchen with the Knights of Columbus. I am excited at all the opportunities God has provided to share the Good News.
Also this month we tried some training through Zoom. It went well and I will repeat the trainings every other month or so if we bring new people on board. In fact, there are people who are interested in the training for use in their own ministry. Happy to share the good news and the camaraderie. Never know who may be a new recruit. It is amazing to get a slight glimpse into "Kingdom Living" when people reach out to one another to help and collaborate...it's here, but not yet, but getting closer!
Our parish is ramping up for great Advent activities. I also got a chance to meet with a leader in a neighboring parish in our territory. Hopefully that will also open some doors. We made the top 10 so far in the Great Commission Leader Board for the country with 39 outings in spite of our late start in the year. Thank you to those team members who made that possible. We are coming up on #WeGiveCatholic. Be sure to forward our website to whomever you think might be interested in helping us financially. All materials are usually purchased out of pocket by the Team Leader, so we gladly accept donations from those who are willing. Your donation goes directly to our store to offset the cost of literature, rosaries and medals which we purchase and give away. Don't hesitate to contact me if you want to be upgraded from Prayer Warrior to Evangelist or be invited to the Zoom trainings. As I told the women's group I spoke to, the holidays bring ample opportunity to evangelize our fallen away relatives. #ComeHomeToTheCatholicChurch. Love and grateful prayers for you all as we prepare for Thanksgiving.
Always Be Prepared
October 14, 2021
1Peter 3:15 “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” Are you an evangelist full-time?
This past weekend I had the privilege of serving with a healing ministry on a young adult (under 45) retreat. These young men and women are amazing. Their honesty and vulnerability before the Lord is a witness to me.
Adoration, healing ministry and confession were offered outside on a crisp, clear autumn evening. One young man came for healing prayer for forgiveness for an ex-girlfriend and pornography. After the prayer, I sensed the Lord telling me to ask him if he prays the Rosary. You know, if you ask someone to give up a bad habit or a sin, you have to replace the void with a good habit or virtue. He said no, he needs help with his prayer life and did not own a Rosary.
Since we were in the parking lot, and my car was 25 feet away, I asked him to take a walk with me. I opened the back of my SUV and revealed my mobile bookstore. He asked for a blue Rosary and as I was untangling it for him, he helped himself to the pamphlets on “how to pray the Rosary”and “sexual purity.” He also accepted a Miraculous Medal. He walked away at peace and armed with a battle plan.
It was an anointed evening for sure, and I was glad I had my trunk stocked. It wasn’t planned, but the Holy Spirit was working overtime that night. I don’t think I will ever remove my SPSE supplies from my trunk! Thank you Jesus!
Not So Good Neighbors
October 5, 2021
Well, since one of the suggestions was a food pantry, we decided to go across the street from our church and try praying with people using the services of "Good Neighbors" food pantry. The day was foggy and dreary, we could feel the mist from the cloud we were in. We prayed before we headed across the street...a binding prayer and one to the Holy Spirit. We placed our wagon about 4 feet from the driveway before the pantry opened. Unfortunately, it was a new location and we didn't realize people must "preorder" their goods, because they were only driving up in a line to have their trunks loaded. The learning experience came when the person in charge told us to move. We politely told him we had a right to be on the sidewalk. He told us there will no proselytizing in front of his store. We repeated again that we had a right to be there. So, of course, the police were called. They politely told the man we had a right to be there, after which the man quickly called us names and other things and walked away. We stayed for 90 minutes, but seeing no foot traffic from the door to the parking lot we left. We may try again on a non dreary day, especially to prove that we weren't "bullied away." We told the man we'd pray for him. We did give out one rosary with a promise to pray for Paul who was on his way to work.
Sometimes The Holy Spirit Zig Zags
September 22, 2021
The Holy Spirit has been prompting us to "take it to the street" for several years. In August, 2016, eight of us ventured out, door to door, with the newly founded Legion of Mary. The experience was wonderful and we were able to uncover children who needed baptism, marriages which needed validated and people who needed to return to our parish. Through a number of years we struggled with getting people to go out on the street. For the most part, our group wanted only to do nursing home visits as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Members left as they became more and more physically unable to perform the apostolic works required of Legion members. In June of 2017 several of us took the Basic Evangelization Training with Steve Dawson and Brian Lee at St. Francis DeSales parish in Akron. Our hope was with training, we would renew the vigor in our LOM groups for going door to door. In the end, between infirmity and covid, our Legion of Mary was officially disbanded in summer of 2021. The Akron team of SPSE also disbanded. But, you see, the Holy Spirit wasn't about to let us just sit, so after meeting with Fr. Jared, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, we decided the solution was to reignite St. Paul Street Evangelization team here in Cuyahoga Falls. The mission was the same: save souls through Mary, the promotion of the Rosary and evangelization on the street and door to door. The advantage was a slightly less structured format and a lesser, looser time commitment. After a prayerful summer and some online refresher courses, St. Paul Street Evangelization - Cuyahoga Falls Team was officially "born again" so to speak. Please pray for our team and encourage anyone in our area to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on joining our team or inviting us to your parish.
Oktoberfest, Riverfront in Cuyahoga Falls
September 18, 2021
Don, Matt and I headed out to Oktoberfest on a hot sunny day. It was Matt's first time out. The Lord is graciously sending us evangelists and people to pray for. Our first encounter was with parishioners of Saint Joe's so we knew we had wonderful prayer warriors lifting us up today. We prayed with 10 people. One woman was Jewish with her two daughters whose husband is Christian. We shared similar stories about the prophecies which Jesus fulfilled and His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, and the similarities between the Levitical sacrifices of the Jewish people and our Catholic Mass. She was interested in the information, and I invited her to St. Joe's for Mass and she took info on the Catholic church. She had asked for prayers for our country...which of course led into a beautiful conversation about founding principles and morals and common ground. Her two young adult daughters and herself all took Rosaries. One woman stopped and asked for prayers for her son in the military who may have to quit rather than be forced to take the shot. We prayed to Our Sorrowful Mother, and I explained the devotion to her. She is a former Catholic and now attends non-denominational Chapel in the Falls. She took information on "return to the Catholic Church" and we talked about going to Confession and the Real Presence in only the Catholic Eucharist. She took a bulletin from St. Joe's and I gave her my phone number to go for coffee. Another young man with a small baby stopped and agreed to get prayer. He was very open to hearing about the Catholic church, lives a block away. He also took a bulletin from St. Joe's and we invited him to Mass. He took info on becoming Catholic and was very grateful for our prayers and our ministry. The three people who took Miraculous Medals let us put them around their neck.
All in all, it was a great day for our first attempt at this venue. It was very crowded, but hard to find shade. Next year we will put them at the top of our list and hopefully cover more time slots. A great place to meet people from Cuyahoga Falls, and being on the sidewalk, it didn't cost us money!
Praise Jesus! Holy Spirit guide and nudge the people with whom we talked today. Pour out your Holy Spirit in Cuyahoga Falls!!
Cuyahoga Falls Farmers' Market
September 17, 2021
Our second outing was much more fruitful! Thank you Rita for stepping up and out! We prayed with 11 people and handed out 14 Rosaries. We prayed against alcohol addiction and against cancer. We prayed for conversion for the husband of a Catholic and he was moved to tears. One young woman refused the Rosary then turned around and said, "you know what, I'll take that Rosary." She had attended her Catholic grandmother's funeral that day and we prayed together for her grandmother and for her own return to the Catholic Church. She accepted wearing a miraculous medal. The woman we prayed for healing of cancer also accepted wearing a miraculous medal. Her friend whom she was visiting just moved to the Falls and is looking for a church. We invited her to St. Joe's and gave her a church bulletin. The woman with alcohol addiction does not go to any church but is a Christian. We invited her to RCIA at St. Joe's on Monday, she lives a block away from the church. We were visited by our old friend Mike who has been following us of late. We also invited him to RCIA at St. Joe's on Monday.
It was a wonderful afternoon and we were joyous over the number of people who turned around and came back for prayer or literature. Thank you Jesus for those you sent to us today. Mother Mary draw them to Jesus. Thank you Lord for our beautiful Catholic Faith!
Mary's Birthday Gift to Us!
September 8, 2021
Thank you Mary, and thank you Jesus. Don joined us today at the Rosary, a new team member. We welcome him with open and grateful arms. Two new parishioners joined us this evening for the Rosary, and one may join the SPSE team. A gentleman we spoke with last month came back again and this time Don and I were able to give him the kerygma, a personal testimony and pray with him for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith. He has a lot of questions and is looking for a study group. First step: Return to the sacraments!! He's an excellent candidate for Symbolon on formed, small groups or the Seeker Small Group Program. The earth is moving...can you feel it? We need to have an onboarding plan in place for these souls the Lord is sending us! Thank you Momma Mary for your loving care!
First Outing Under the Belt-Eye Opening Experience
September 4, 2021
I was packed, ready and willing to go. I even had the names and descriptions of 3 people I felt the Lord wanting me to pray with. I came with expectant faith. Well, we came, we prayed. As a first outing I learned how to unfold and refold the wagon, though, like a gas station map, not the way it was originally intended. This is a sad, evil place. My prayer warriors were from St. Bernard Parish 5 in all. One couple was celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary by witnessing on the sidewalk. A few other Catholics, one from Mayfield Hts, came to pray. No other evangelists joined me today.
Prayer is sadly needed here. Actually, an exorcism is needed here. Hopefully we can line the sidewalk. Unfortunately, it's not a place for evangelization. As you can see, the "deathcorts" line the drive including the apron and you cannot approach the cars. The clients come in from both sides in the back and we are not allowed to go up to them. My hope was to at least be able to pray with some of the clients, but they were unapproachable. I said several rosaries with my friends from St. Bernard Parish. I will go back, perhaps just with the Catholic sign and a back pack. I met a lovely pastor and his wife and 4yr old daughter from Holmes County. I gave my number to two nice Catholic young men in an effort to recruit them for our evangelization team. I met a lovely retired sister residing at Our Lady of the Elms in Akron. She was thrilled to see a Catholic evangelist! I hope to meet up with her again! I gave out rosaries to the Catholics who were there who forgot theirs. Some of them took pamphlets to help their family return to the Catholic church. At least the cars honking on the street got to see a "Catholic" sign on the sidewalk for a change.
Just for fun, I struck up a conversation with two young men, evangelicals, who were preaching with their bullhorn. Their knowledge of Scripture passages quickly put me to shame. I will be more prepared next time, if we end up here again. I was like a toddler babbling in defense of the Catholic faith. They were kind and smiling, but what I didn't feel was love. I tried to talk about the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, but they had an answer for that which I was not equipped to refute. I need a Scripture scholar with me!!!! This was a tough first outing. Until I recruit more people and gain more experience, I'll stick to Farmers' Markets and shopping districts. Perhaps the people there will be more amenable to receiving prayer for healing and hearing the word of God. I was joyful to see a sidewalk full of Catholics there, however! I ended my afternoon before the Holy Eucharist, praying for the women who left that clinic with bags of drugs today, and for those misguided souls who serve as "escorts." #ComeSoonLordJesus #MultiplyMyLoavesAndFishes
September 1, 2021
PRAISE THE LORD! Passed the first Basic Evangelization final exam and the "Street Ready Call" interview. We're ready to go, and I'm getting prepared to be a good coach! Take a leap of faith. Join us on our outings (see the calendar) starting this Saturday, September 4th at the abortion clinic 2127 State Rd. Cuyahoga Falls, Oh 44221.
So, thank you Bob Wilson for stretching my brain during our “Street Ready” interview call. However, this old brain does forget things. Folks, I made what could have been a fatal error when I quoted Mark 16:17-18 & Matt 10:8 in response to Bob’s role-play question of “why are you so confident in your beliefs?” Well, he quizzed me on whether I really believed WE could pray for someone to be raised from the dead (as someone on the street may have.) Here’s the miracle story I was too flustered to share. Folks, we BELIEVE every word in Scripture!! Matt 10:8 “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Mark 16:17-18 These signs will accompany THOSE WHO BELIEVE: in My name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Pastor Jim Baker of Zion Church in Powell, Ohio also spoke of witnessing someone raised from the dead, but I can’t find the testimony. I have seen fear leave, pain leave, backs straightened, cataracts cleared, hearts returned to flesh. Jesus heals! NOW, go out and pray with people on the street, proclaim the Gospel, and EXPECT signs & wonders! Love to all. Praise Jesus!
Matt Loboda is a personal friend of mine. He grew up with my children, down the street in Garfield Heights, Ohio. His daughter, Joy, was raised from the dead. Here’s his story: https://lepantoin.org/light-shineth-darkness/ I BELIEVE!!
God Has a Sense of Humor
August 25, 2021
Praise Jesus! God has me giggling today! First shipment arrived from SPSE store on Saturday with rosaries, miraculous medals and holy cards. The same day in the mail I received this handwritten letter from and a leaflet about the Jehovah's Witness conference in my area. You better believe Ms. Crawl will be receiving a few SPSE pamphlets and a blessed miraculous medal in return! If you have not had a chance to check out the available tracks, you can do so here: https://evangelizationschool.com/store/product-category/pamphlets/english-pamphlets/. There are also free mp3 audio files to burn and hand out. Great refreshers! Today, our signs were delivered. Setting up my "street ready call" interview and studying for my final exam! Have you gone through the free videos yet? Don't forget to click "sign code of conduct." Praying for the possibility of setting up on State Rd. by the abortion clinic from 10:00 am-12:00 pm on Saturday Sept. 4th as our first outing. Email me your thoughts. The earth is quaking...getting ready for a mighty move of the Spirit! Can you feel it? Come and see!
August 23, 2021
The Blessed Mother is indeed blessing our ministry. Last October, two people approached us while we were saying the Rosary. One was a non-Catholic who wanted to learn the Rosary and how to read the Bible. The other was a Catholic who is currently away from the church. Last week, someone also approached us who is currently away from church, but he came to pray the Rosary with his own Rosary! We talked about returning to Confession so he could receive the Holy Eucharist. He took the pamphlet on Confession, and "Returning to the Catholic Church." God sends "Divine Appointments" even for the Rosary.
As soon as some of you have at least watched the free videos, we can go out. We only need two at a time. Let me know. There is a Farmer's Market going on now at High Point Glen park, Fridays 4pm-7pm until October 1. We can stand on the sidewalk on Front Street downtown, anytime. When you're ready, let me know. There are some basic standards for evangelizing with SPSE, so we all want to be on the same page, and you have to digitally sign the "Code of Conduct."
Our friends from Lorain County/Vermillion team have this to report from Jamie's Flea Market in Amherst: Saturday, August 14th; 6 evangelists, prayed with 115, 5 signed up for RCIA, prayed with 7 for addictions, several made the consecration to Jesus. Saturday, August 21st; report from 1 of the evangelists, he prayed with 73 people, 1 signed up for RCIA (a 19 yo who will go to St. Raphael for class, numerous consecrations to Jesus, prayed for 7 addicts and 2 for healing. All for the glory of God. This team will be at the Lorain County Fair Mon-Sun 10am-8pm. Stop in and see them, or at least keep them in your prayers, and those whom they meet. I'll be going out on Thursday to meet with them!
Thank you all for your love of Jesus. Thank you all for wanting to share the truth of the Gospel. We need you and each of your unique gifts!!
August 20, 2021
"In development" is a great phrase. It means, not yet ready, still growing, pain of stretching, exhaustion in training, sadness at setbacks, hope for new horizons, faith in the future. We started door-to-door evangelization in 2016 through the Legion of Mary. It's tough, not for everyone, nor the faint of heart. But, through it all, Mary has pushed and prodded. This is evidenced by the number of strangers we have encountered during our public recitation of the Rosary. Now a new opportunity has presented itself with Saint Paul Street Evangelization. I hope you will prayerfully consider whether the Lord is calling you to this amazing ministry. I will be going out to the Lorain County Fair week of August 23 to practice and pray with our brothers in Vermilion and Lorain County. You are all welcome to visit with them as well, to "taste and see." If you have not yet registered to be on a team, fill out the contact form. Those already receiving an intro email can begin their training right through this website. The online training is wonderful, featuring presenters such as Dr. Mary Healy and Peter Herbeck. Don't forget to come to our public Rosary listed in the church bulletin (you might even get a chance to hone your skills). God bless you for clicking through. Stay tuned for updates.