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Philadelphia - Lower Bucks County, PACountry: United States
State or province: Pennsylvania
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Downtown with the Deacons and more! June 18th 2022
June 21, 2022
Our little street evangelization team was blessed with many who answered Yes! to come out and share their love of Christ and His Church in center city Philadelphia last Saturday. Deacon Mark and Nancy were joined by Deacon Joe (i.e. just ordained a week before!), and Diaconate candidate Chris, as well as Rich (Director of Faith formation at his parish) and Dan (RCIA leader and music ministry). Wow ~ Talk about a great team for doing SPSE! We had a couple setup near the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul, another down by the Franklin Institute, and Rich and Chris spent much of their time over at nearby encampment of homeless/needy people. The three groups met many people, offering blessed medals, books, prayers, and warm hearts. Spending time with one another and meeting people and speaking about faith matters and God at work brought great joy to our teammates and many of our new and old acquaintances.
At the cathedral Deacon Mark and Nancy saw Hank, an atheist who the team met once a few years ago. Hank grew up in the same town as Nancy and went to the same high school. Deacon Mark spoke with Hank at length about faith in our Creator and how his faith has been a priceless gift in his life. Hank left not wanting a prayer; however, one cannot help but think that our team remembering Hank from so long ago, with details about him must have some impact, letting him know God is there and is watching over and loving him. Please Lord heal up Hank's spirit! Deacon Mark also met Barb, who had asked for blessed medals to give to her friends some months ago.
Joe and Nancy at the Franklin Institute met a man named Garry who was a homeless veteran with mental illness difficulties that landed him back on the streets. They spoke with Garry and prayed with him and he went down the street to a bench. About an hour later he came back and gave Joe a paper he had been completing with information about himself and his life and his contact information. Joe hopes to meet up with Garry again. There were some visitors to the city who stopped to chat also. A young Mormon couple visiting from out of state gladly accepted miraculous medals and listened intently as Joe explained that the medal is akin to a picture that reminds us of Mary. He noted that Jesus' Mom prays for us when asked, and that since she is the Mother of the King, she has exceptional access to ask for favors. The fact that this couple were friendly and open to receiving the medals and dialogue about how Catholics regard Mary was very uplifting.
Rich and Chris met and prayed with many people who were being served a meal and offered clothing by another charitable group. They noted how a line formed to receive blessed medals, rosaries, and prayers. It certainly shows that spiritual hunger is palpable for these people in difficulty, in addition to corporal needs.
After much of the group had left, Dan, Nancy and Joe setup for a bit in front of Sister Cities Park, a block from the Cathedral. Dan was happy to get his feet wet again doing street evangelization and based on the receptivity of those who accepted rosaries from him, he was on fire! There was a family of 3 visiting from California who gladly accepted rosaries and the adult son of the family asked for prayers for their friend Mitch who has Covid. After the team wrapped up for the day, Dan reported going back to the Cathedral to spend some time with St. Katherine Drexel, who is now entombed there. At church Dan saw the family who had asked the team to pray for Mitch. Since Dan had been a tour guide for the Cathedral a few years back, he offered to answer any questions about the Basilica. The lights came on, and it appeared that a wedding would be starting. Dan asked the family if they'd like to stay and listen to the organ and trumpet music that was certain to start soon. They stayed and spoke with Dan and it turned out that they were from Vallejo CA, where Dan lived for 12 years in the Navy and where his children were born. Both Dan and the family were so excited for this connection and their time spent in the Cathedral was a beautiful welcome to both our Archdiocese and our city. Dan was feeling very encouraged and blessed by this "God wink". Praise God always!
Please pray for these people and their intentions: Hank - to come to faith in God, Mr. Green - for his wellness, Garry - for health, family, education, Jonathan - for his life, Jim (a ray of sunshine!) - for his continued peace and joy, Cedano - for his health, Joel Brown - for housing, Rashan - for direction and purpose, Q - to follow God's will for his life, Maria - for her right choices, Marissa and Tim - for their wellness, Mitch - for his healing from covid