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Philadelphia - Lower Bucks County

Country: United States
State or province: Pennsylvania

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Nancy Hoyt

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Suburban Station Phila 4-20-2024 and Good Shepherd Sunday

April 22, 2024

Nancy and Rich went downtown to Suburban Station in Philadelphia for a morning of street evangelization.  It was the day before Good Shepherd Sunday and prayers for following where God would lead brought them to meet and pray and speak with many people.

A man named Frank asked for prayers for his job and for help with mental clarity.  He noted that his thoughts caused him to be bothered and not settled.  We prayed for Frank to have peace and hope in his mind and heart through Jesus, the divine physician.  Frank definitely was less distressed after the prayer.  Speaking at length with Frank we learned that he was raised Catholic but found himself lacking in real knowledge and faith. He explained that he did not know much at all about scriptures and Christianity and Jesus until he started attending a non-denominational church in Philadelphia.   We told him that we understood, that we had times in our lives where we had to seek out God despite having been raised Catholic, feeling at times lacking in knowledge of the faith.  We noted the Holy Eucharist in our Church being a most important part of Catholicism, not present elsewhere and the nature of apostolic succession down to the Pope and bishops today.  He understood but noted that he found community and welcome, attended Bible studies weekly, and he was even going to a Phillies game with his church that evening.  He invited our team to come and see his church.  Perhaps we will go and see and gather some ideas for how we might find ideas for our parish and our lives to be more welcoming and helpful to seekers.

We spoke with and prayed at length with two young men, Steven and Jeremy, who are battling addiction.  We prayed for the soul of Steven's grandmom who had recently passed away and for his 4 year old daughter who is being raised by his mom.  The young men spoke of how some people treat others like they are inhuman, like trash.  They noted how they think that God loves all of humankind, rich, poor, addicted, clean.  Nancy asked what they thought about the possibility of coming to church and whether they thought finding Jesus in their lives might help them get off the streets and back to family life.  Steven noted that the only people he has met who have been able to resist the draw of addiction had done it through faith.  They prayed together for Jesus to heal them of their addictions and for them to be safe.  They prayed for Steven to become a good father for his daughter.  They shared their email and the team promised to contact them to see how they are doing.

There was a clean cut looking young man standing next to a column near the team for quite awhile.  He had seen the team give out food to homeless, share prayers with strangers and give out blessed medals and rosaries.  When the area quieted down a bit, Nancy asked him if he would like a blessed medal. He said he did not have any faith and did not need a cross.  We asked if he could use a prayer.  He said "well I don't believe but you can do it if you want".  We said a short prayer asking God for faith for us and him.  We asked him his name and it was Joe.  We noted that certainly is a name we find in the Bible.  Joe laughed and said yes he did know that.  He mentioned he was waiting for his aunt to arrive.  We asked her name, and it was Mary.  We laughed again, noting once again perhaps he had closer ties to Jesus than he mentioned.  He was a warm hearted fellow and was not bothered by our attempts to connect.  We asked if he would like to give our medal with Mary on it to his aunt when she arrived.  He said no that we could offer it to her.  She finally came and when we gave a friendly hello and asked if she'd like a medal with Mary on it she looked at us and our sign and was dismissive and hurried out with her nephew.  It was too bad; it is such a pretty miraculous medal with Mary in blue and with a crucifix lovingly placed on the strand beside her.  We don't know what people are going through when we try to help our fellow sheep, but we know God wants us to go out and try anyway.  Let go and let God!

Please keep the following people and their intentions in your prayers:

Cornell - for his mom and daughter and their wellness. For family healing from sickness

Maitay - for health and decisions / path in life

Frank - for peace and hope

Raymond - for harmony with his brother James and peace in their Muslim neighborhood

Ray - for financial blessings

Clive - a worker in the station, for safety at work and at home and for good health

Joe - to become a faithful follower of Jesus; to come to forgiveness for his cousins who have harmed him

Mary - to help Joe grow in faith and forgive

Fred - for his and his family's wellness

Steven - healing from addiction and for his grandmom; for him to come to faith in the Divine Physician Jesus

Gabriella - for her safety and health; for her dad and grandmom

Jeremy - healing from addiction and growth in faith

General intention

Marquis - to pass his course and for his family to become closer

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