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Night Fever at St. John the Evangelist
September 16, 2019
Thursday night we were invited to set up the table downtown at St. John the Evangelist church (126 W Georgia St.), from 9-10 pm. On the fourth Thursday of each month (third Thursday this month due to Thanksgiving) the young Catholic adults gather at the church for adoration and prayer. During adoration some stay to pray while others go out into the streets, two by two inviting anyone they see to come into the church to light a candle and pray. St John’s calls this event Night Fever.
Soon the young adults began to return with many of our streets homeless and forgotten people. Among those who came was Todd. He is a homeless man who panhandles on the corner and sleeps in an alley off of Illinois Street. Todd expressed his love for Jesus and said he had been clean and sober for two years since he got out of jail. Todd was so glad when we invited him into the church because times have been tough since he got beat up and mugged last month.
We taught him how to pray the rosary and he asked for extra Miraculous Medals to give to his friends who panhandle on the corner. We gave him a coat out of the St. John’s donation bin and made sure he knew where to go to get free food the next day. After lighting a candle and praying with him in the church Jamison took him back to his corner. He promised to pray for us.
Another encounter we had was a with Catholic couple who was visiting from California. This husband and wife were walking the streets of downtown and found St. John’s doors open. They were blessed to have this time to come in and pray so late in the night. Additionally they were encouraged by what they saw happening here in Indianapolis and were excited to take God’s perfect “just-by-chance” experience home with them to share with their Catholic community.
One thing that must be pointed out. Most of those who came in are living on the fringes of society and sleeping in the alley next to St. John’s. However, these castaways and unforgotten know Fr. Nagel and Fr. Nagel knows them. What a testimony of God’s love and mercy. These forgotten people who are a nobody in the eyes of the world, are a somebody to Fr. Nagel and the young adults who minister to them. Responding to this ministry, these street people know that they are loved and reciprocate the love they receive back to the team at St. John’s church. If God is calling you to share his Gospel with charity and love, please consider joining us.