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Philadelphia - Lower Bucks CountyCountry: United States
State or province: Pennsylvania
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Ben Franklin Parkway Philly – 4-28-2018
September 19, 2019
(NH) Don and Nancy sezzztup a prayer station in the morning on the Ben Franklin Parkway, up the street from the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul. It was a glorious spring day in Philadelphia and the boy scouts were having their annual Mass at 11 am. The parkway was teeming with people visiting, enjoying the weather, and attending Mass.
The first encounter was with a couple of scouts and their dad/leader at the cafe, before we even sezzztup on the sidewalk down the road. They were interested in what we were doing, how we did it, and what experiences we have had. The Archdiocesan Scout Mass is an important event for celebrating scouts who have received the Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, Ad Altari Dei, or Pope Pius XII awards; adults who receive Catholic Scouting awards; and Catholic Scouting units. The scouts and dad I spoke with loved what we were doing and thanked us for serving the Church this way. That said, we now have some scouts who are very interested in getting involved with doing St. Paul Street Evangelization! I provided contact information and hope to hear from them again.
A man named Kenneth came by. He saw a Padre Pio medal hanging from our sign and made a bee-line for it, asking if he might have it. I explained what I knew of the saint, that he, an Italian saint, could see greatly of who was in heaven versus purgatory, waiting to get to heaven. I also mentioned St. Padre Pio’s suffering with the stigmata and his great humility. Kenneth mentioned that his mom and dad had both passed away and that he would like to know that they are in heaven. He also asked to pray for his daughters for whom he was concerned about their well being and right choices. We called upon the Holy Spirit and prayed for his parents to be with Christ in paradise if they were not already, and for the intercession of St. Padre Pio to let Kenneth know where his parents are. This prayer was an exceptional blessing where the Holy Spirit gave us a great zap! During prayer it was as though the bustling Philadelphia around us went temporarily on hiatus and it was just me and Kenneth with our eyes closed and God and the saints listening. When we opened our eyes, Kenneth teetered a bit and said WOW! and gave a huge smile. I nodded and remarked, how about it Kenneth? That’s the Holy Spirit showing up and letting us know He is with us. Kenneth greatly agreed and was so thankful and happy getting upon his way.
A man named Rasheen wanted to stop and tell us about the Muslim religion. He was inclusive in his discussion, letting us know that the one God that the Muslims worship is the same God as the Jewish and Christian God. Also, he wanted us to know that the Bible is important to all Judeo-Christian faiths as well as the Muslim faith. Rasheen did not let up much in speaking, and it felt important to remember what has been found personally to be a most important aspect of evangelization ministry, listen listen listen! Eventually we asked Rasheen if Muslims can pray with Christians, as intercessors. He agreed that this was an acceptable thing to do and allowed us to pray with him. We prayed a prayer to God the Father our Creator to watch over and guide him and Rasheen was very thankful and told us to have a great day.
We had many walk by and remark kindly, building us up for being Christ’s light to the world with our little sidewalk stand for Our Church. One particular encounter was a young man from Texas named Brian. Upon walking by we asked if he would like a rosary and maybe a prayer. He stopped and told us that he went to Catholic high school and is soon graduating from law school. He was up visiting to go to the Penn Relays. Brian accepted the rosary and pamphlet to help him remember how to pray it, in case he had forgotten, as I noted that I had for many years despite having gone to 12 years of Catholic school. Brian exclaimed that he was very happy to receive this and that what we were doing was a wonderful thing and much needed in our world. He allowed us to pray with him, and we particularly prayed for his completion of school and for him to get a job that leads him ever closer to Christ and brings him great contentment in life. He left us with great joy.
We could write of many other encounters of the day, God reminding us that even if our little ministry seems a drop in the ocean, He is there with us and He is pleased with us. Praise be to God for He is so great!
Please keep the following people and their intentions in your prayers:
- Robert – to get the union job promised to him.
- Bill – for the grace to stay out of trouble.
- Rosalie – for the protection of and communication and peace within her family.
- Boy Scouts – for the safety and ongoing faith formation of all those in attendance at the annual scout Mass at the cathedral.
- Rasheen – for a continued softening towards the Christian faith.
- Kenneth – To know his mom and dad are well in heaven; for his daughters right choices and safety.
- Lethan and Leimi – for their family’s peace and health.
- Toni – for her continued perseverance in walking the path to becoming Catholic, for her guidance, and for the healing and recovery of her daughter and her niece who have health issues.
- Brian – from TX who is graduating Law School in a few weeks, for him to get a good job that brings him closer to Jesus in faith and brings him contentment in life.
- Kate – general intentions.
- Luis – for his well being and his family’s well being.
- Harold – to get a home and a job; to have peace in his life.
- Gus – for him and his family to know love and serve the Lord all the days of their lives and to stay safe and healthy.
- Ramel- general intention.
- Russell – general intention.
- Raheem – general intention.
- Deb and Lina (French) – visiting from NYC – for their families health and well being.
- Little Raylynn and Deborah – for the safety and good health of their family.