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Philadelphia - Lower Bucks County, PA

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State or province: Pennsylvania

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Nancy Hoyt
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Street Evangelization on 34th Street Hospital Zone on Feast of Saint Andrew Dung-Lak and Companions (24 Nov 2017)

September 19, 2019


For the first time in our 9 months of working under the umbrella of Saint Paul Street Evangelization, we had two groups of two people working in central Philadelphia.  As mentioned in Nancy Hoyt’s prior post, she and Don McGeary worked in the area near the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, while Donna Alexander and I stood on the sidewalk shared by Children’s Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  While it was a bit chilly at first, the sun shone brightly and there was no wind, and after about an hour, I was able to shed my trench coat.

Within two minutes of sezzztting up our stand, we had our first visitors.  A young woman named Christina looked at our stand and asked if we had Bibles to give out.  We told her we had religious books to offer as well as rosaries and medals, and asked if there was anything we could pray for with her.  Christina unhesitatingly told us that she was a single mother with a two-year-old boy named Fernando suffering from severe asthma.  Two nights ago, he awoke almost unable to breathe, so she rushed him to Children’s Hospital for treatment.  With tears in her eyes, she told us that she was raised Catholic but was in a very messy situation, as Fernando’s father was not helping her, and she is struggling with drug addiction.  She is currently on methadone and badly wants to be drug-free, but is not receiving any counseling.  We gave her our contact details and told her to call back at a free moment so that we can put her in touch with the proper person at Catholic Social Services.  Her eyes brimmed with tears as we prayed with her, and she took a guardian angel medal, a crucifix and a book.  She accepted our offer to go into the hospital to pray over Fernando, who was beautiful toddler filled with energy but very cooperative when we prayed over him.  Christina was visibly moved by the whole experience and thanked us sincerely as we parted ways.

We had many other powerful encounters during our two hours in the hospital zone, and some of them moved us to tears.  A young husband named Cory from Bethlehem stopped by with his five year old boy, and we soon learned that his three year old daughter Marie was in CHoP for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Cory’s family is Catholic, and we tried to encourage him by the sharing the story pf a parishioner whose two year old daughter had the same diagnosis and is now 13 and doing very well.  Cory was visibly moved as prayed over him and for his little girl, and accepted religious medals for her and his son.

Please intercede in prayer for all the following people that we met this morning:

  • Christina, whose 2-year-old son Fernando has bad asthma.
  • Connie, whose brother just underwent open heart surgery with a 50/50 chance of survival
  • Gloria, who just had a mammogram that revealed a lump that needs biopsy.  Her husband is infirm and requires her constant care, and she is feeling overwhelmed by her circumstances.
  • Drew, who is in HUP with prostate problems.
  • Kiesha, a young woman from CHoP who desires world peace and an end to neighborhood violence
  • Grégoire, a French-speaking father of four children from Togo and a practicing Catholic, who prays the rosary every evening with his family.
  • Ulysses – a newborn baby boy with spina bifida, whose mother Sandra recovering from a Caesarean section. Ulysses has already gone surgery to alleviate some of his spinal deformation, and his immigrant family (from Guatemala) currently live in Lancaster.
  • Angela, a 35-year-old woman in HUP with a bowel obstruction. Angela received a new kidney about 20 years ago at CHoP, and so far, the transplanted organ has been functioning well.
  • Alonso, a 12-year-old boy from New York City who has been hospitalized again due to complications with cystic fibrosis.
  • Brandy and Josh, who 8-month-old boy Ian is hospitalized with kidney problems
  • Teaser, a 7-year-old boy undergoing testing at CHoP. His devoutly Catholic aunt and 7-year-old cousin had accompanied Teaser from Lancaster for the tests.  He was born with multiple health problems that made it necessary to spend the first full year of his life at CHoP.  His young cousin is in first grade in Catholic school and proudly recited all his prayers, and promised to give Teaser one of the two guardian angel medals entrusted to him.
  • Cory, whose three-year-old daughter Marie is in CHoP for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • Roosevelt, whose wife Marie has bone cancer.
  • Jaiden, and 8-year-old boy with ADHD.
  • Michael, whose grandson Charles Joseph is preemie with multiple health issues and hospitalized at CHoP.
  • Todd, whose son 13-year-old son Anthony is in CHoP for treatment of cystic fibrosis. Hats off to Donna, who felt moved to persist when Todd first declined prayer because he was rushing off to work, having left his 14-year-old daughter Amaya to stay with her brother during the day.  Todd acquiesced and was very touched by the prayer offered by Donna, and left in a visibly calmer state of mind.