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Philadelphia - Lower Bucks County, PA

Country: United States
State or province: Pennsylvania

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Nancy Hoyt
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Saturday, 07 Sep 2019 – Logan Circle

September 19, 2019


After attending the 8 AM Mass at Saint Christopher’s parish in northeast Philadelphia, Nancy and I headed down to the cathedral.  The skies were bright blue and the air temperature was pleasant, so we sezzzt up our equipment on Logan Circle.  We only had to wait a minute before he had two visitors to our stand, and we had two very long but powerful encounters:  Nancy with James, and Mark with Gary (see below).  Please say a prayer or two for the following individuals, and consider joining our group this coming week for the annual carnival at Saint John Bosco Parish in Warminster, PA.
  • Luis Enrique, an elderly homeless man who came to America from Nicaragua back in 1999, without his family.  He was raised Catholic and accepted the Spanish version of Matt Kelly’s book Resisting Happiness, along with a rosary and guide to praying it.
  • James, who was born in Taiwan of mixed Chinese and American heritage and is now homeless in Philadelphia.   He is extremely articulate and intellectually curious, and asked Nancy many thought-filled questions about the Catholic faith.   James talked animatedly with her for more than 45 minutes, and accepted a Bible and religious medal before heading off to the nearby park.
  • Gary, whom we first met three weeks ago and has been living in Logan Circle for six weeks.  Gary lost his three year old son Luke to leukemia on 07 Jul 2018, and his fiancee Amy, Luke’s mother, died exactly one week later from a heart attack.  Gary was born and raised in a troubled family in Kentucky, became a nurse working in pediatric oncology, and eventually moved to California.  He fell into deep depression after the death of Amy and Luke, and headed eastward to reassess his life.  He has all his belongings in a backpack and became so despondent yesterday, his 46th birthday, that he climbed onto the side of the Walnut Street bridge, ready to leap to his death.  After resisting the temptation to end his life, he went to Jefferson Hospital for assessment, but they turned him away because he is legally a resident of California and should return there for treatment.   I spent more than an hour talking with Gary, got him a cup of coffee, and then headed over to the cathedral to give him a tour.  Gary was raised Baptist but listened attentively to my explanations about Catholic theology and worship, and we spent a good half hour in the cathedral before meeting up with Nancy.  We showed him how to find Catholic Social Services on Monday at the archdiocesan center at 222 N. 17th Street, and after we got home, Gary sent us an e-mail from a main library computer.  He thanked us sincerely for our help, and promised to see help.  On Monday, was given a one-way bus ticket back to Los Angeles, and he should reach the west coast by Thursday.  He will still need lots of prayers, as he needs to get on his feet and back to work.
  • Jasmine, who needs help making decisions in her life without the element of fear haunting her whenever she has to act
  • Pam, who has cancer that was initially misdiagnosed and has a medical malpractice lawsuit starting on Monday.  She lives alone in Philadelphia, and also asks for her brother Dwayne
  • Theodore, who asks for strength in battling addiction
  • Myer, who asks for a pleasant week ahead
  • Michael, who is suffering from stomach and colon cancer.  We gave him a Bible at his own request, and he promised to go to his church on Sunday.
  • David, for improvement of his health
  • Wilbur, for a new apartment, as he is having problems with his landlord.  He also promised to go to church on Sunday.

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