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MARY, MOTHER OF THE EUCHARIST
June 23, 2020
A framed copy of this picture of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist was prominently displayed at the front of the main training sessions' meeting room at the June 2019 SPSE IMMERSION. It beautifully illustrates several key elements of the spirituality associated with St. Paul Street Evangelization: 1) following the personal example of Jesus' mother Mary as His first disciple, 2) empowerment by the Holy Spirit and obedience to His inspiration, 3) walking in the light and love of God, 3) pointing to Jesus as the true center of our hearts, 4) personally sharing the Good News of Jesus with others, 5) inviting others to personally encounter and know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and 6) invite others to encounter Jesus in His Holy Eucharist within the Catholic Church.
This picture is displayed when the SPSE Lorain County Team is evangelizing at the Lorain County Fair. References to six New Testament scripture verses are listed at the bottom of the picture to point out key events in Mary's life that illustrate her example as Jesus' first disciple. They are:
1) “Here am I, the Servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
2) “My Soul magnifies the Lord, and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46-47
3) But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
4) His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” John 2:5
5) Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. John 19:25
6) All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus. Acts 1:14
The following is some additional information about the picture and several commentaries about Mary and her role as Mother of the Eucharist:
MARY, MOTHER OF THE EUCHARIST -
painted by Helen E. Foley
Meaning of symbols:
The crown of tears are the seven sorrows. She is called the Queen of Sorrows.
The rays of light emanating from Mary are to indicate her status as the Living Monstrance of Jesus as the Mother of His Flesh and Blood.
Her right hand beckons us to come to the Eucharist, her Son.
Her veiled hand indicates that she herself was not made a priest. Yet who better should have had the right but the Flesh that bore Him. Yet, she was not, so does not touch nor consecrate the Host.
The roses on her belt are reminiscent of the rosary prayers which she herself has asked us to pray. She is Queen of the Holy Rosary.
The angels are hers to command. She is Queen of the Angels.
Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
She is the model of Eucharistic Life, who teaches us to listen and keep the Word of God (Christ), so that we can later be and do all that the Father wants and desires of us. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). To listen to the Virgin Mary is to love and obey God, she imprints in the heart of the pilgrim, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).
“Lord, I am Yours, and I must belong to no one but You. My soul is Yours, and must live only by You. My will is Yours, and must love only for You. I must love You as my first cause, since I am from You. I must love You as my end and rest, since I am for You. I must love You more than my own being, since my being subsists by You. I must love You more than myself, since I am all Yours and all in You. Amen.”
St. Francis de Sales
“All love tends to become like that which it loves. God loved man; therefore He became man. For nine months her own body was the natural Eucharist, in which God shared communion with human life, thus preparing for that greater Eucharist when human life would commune with the Divine. Mary’s joy was to form Christ in her own body; her joy now is to form Christ in our souls. In this Mystery, we pray to become pregnant with the Christ spirit, giving Him new lips with which He may speak of His Father, new hands with which He may feed the poor, and a new heart with which He may love everyone, even enemies.”
Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen
SPSE Immersion June 2019
January 15, 2020
Markus reported about the SPSE June 2019 IMMERSION, “Participation in the June 2019 Immersion was one of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life. It confirmed that being part of SPSE is what the Lord wanted for me. The vision and enthusiasm of the SPSE leadership team and of the experienced SPSE evangelists and team leaders ignited a sincere interest in evangelization into a burning passion to share Jesus with others. Their example combined with the common worship experiences at Immersion also gave you an understanding of the personal spiritual life necessary to be an effective Catholic evangelist.”
“The ‘Light the Fire’ event was a particularly amazing experience. I’ve always thought of being before the blessed sacrament as MY spending time with Jesus. I never really understood before how Jesus personally ministers to people before him in the blessed sacrament until I saw with my own eyes how people were deeply touched by Him. While looking from the church doorway back towards the altar, you could tell by the changes in body language and in some cases the tears that everyone was touched by Him in some profound way.”
“If one were looking for one good reason to attend Immersion, it would be that you learn the basics of the practice and art of evangelization by actually practicing it with others who have experience. In the photograph below, I am evangelizing on a downtown street in Detroit, MI during SPSE 2019 Immersion. I was blessed to work with a great training partner who took this picture while I wasn’t looking. Immersion definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone but helped me become more confident about going out to evangelize with a ‘can do’ with the Holy Spirit attitude!”
For additional information, please check out this Link for June 2019 SPSE Immersion https://stpaulevangelization.com/immersion-2019/
Change in Lorain County SPSE Team Leadership
January 13, 2020
On June 3, 2019 Markus Bryant of Wellington, OH became the new Team Leader of the Lorain County SPSE Chapter. Team Founder Alicia Riedel passed on the Team's leadership to Markus and will continue to support the Team's evangelization efforts. Alicia is a teacher at a Catholic school and is a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Elyria, OH.
Markus and his wife Mary Beth noticed a big decline in the faith of the 10th grade PSR students they taught over 15 years along with that of their parents. Beginning about 4-5 years prior to his retirement in January 2019, he read the book written by Sherry A. Weddell: Forming Intentional Disciples - The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus. This book clearly laid out the shocking decline of faith within the Catholic Church and the need to evangelize Catholics and form intentional committed disciples of Jesus to draw others back to Him. This book led Markus to begin studying more intensely this faith decline in the Catholic Church, the New Evangelization called for by every pope since Vatican II beginning with Paul VI and especially by Pope St. John Paul II and what lay evangelization ministries were available.
Markus chose to join the SPSE apostolate because of their practical training, availability of supplies and you actually go out to where people are to share the Catholic faith. The team has one other certified SPSE evangelist (Alicia), 1 volunteer helper and one person working on their certified evangelism training. The team often does joint evangelization events with the Vermilion Ohio team.
Markus retired January 2, 2019 after serving 24 years as General Manager of Lorain Medina Rural Electric Cooperative in Wellington, OH and 21 years as General Manager of North Central Electric Cooperative in Attica, OH. Markus and his wife Mary Beth live in the Wellington, Oh and are members of St. Patrick Catholic Church. They sometimes attend Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oberlin, since the two parishes share the same priest, Fr. David Trask who also serves as the Team's Spiritual Adviser. They celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary on October 22, 2020 and have two adult children and eight grand children.